LETTER: Horsham football career is recalled

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Referring to the article ‘Memory Lane’ in the West Sussex County Times, 14th January 2016, you asked whether there are any of the old football players still around.

My father, Owen Parker, in the middle front row, sadly passed away on 8th January 2016. He was 95 years of age. He would have been so proud to think his photo was in the West Sussex County Times again after all these years.

Owen played his first game for Horsham in October 1945 having previously played for Lewes and Brighton Boys.

He played over 300 games for Horsham, remembering that they could only play on a Saturday, no floodlights for midweek matches.

He captained Horsham and went on to play many games for Sussex where he was also captain.

His favourite memory was, of course, the 1947 Notts County FA Cup match and although Horsham lost 9-1, he was still proud to say that Horsham scored the first goal. This was scored by Ron Smallwood within the first few minutes.

At the time Owen played for Horsham he was a postman and had special dispensation to take Saturdays off to play football.

After purchasing a newsagent/grocers in Horsham in 1951 his wife, Joan, also gave special dispensation to have Saturdays off!

His football career with Horsham ended in 1956 but he continued to follow Horsham and Brighton and Hove Albion Football Clubs.

Owen and Joan moved to Hove in 1964 purchasing a newsagent, card and gift shop. Wanting to take life a little easier they then moved to Henfield, again purchasing a similar shop. Being in a village this was a more genteel lifestyle. Retirement came in 1984.

Owen’s funeral will be taking place on Tuesday 26th January 2016 at 11.20 at Worthing Crematorium. Family flowers only but donations, should you wish, to Alzheimers Society c/o Freeman Brothers, Horsham.

GILLIAN PESKETT (Mrs)

Stane Street, Adversane

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