LETTER: First match to be floodlit

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Helen Richardson is probably already aware that her grandfather, Fred Sparkes, first held a season ticket at Horsham Football Club in the 1899/1900 season and began his playing career at the club in 1907, continuing up to the start of the 1914/18 War.

He retired finally in 1920, having enjoyed representative honours. He became club Secretary in 1925 and 40 years later on 15th September 1965 a Testimonial match was played at Queen Street as a tribute to him, between Horsham FC and a Sussex XI.

The centre forwards for the two sides were both well known in the town, Michael Browning for Horsham and Mick Streeter (then a Worthing player) for Sussex. The referee was the international official, Ken Aston.

What is also significant about that game is that it was the first occasion that a match was played under floodlights, and these were switched on by Denis Follows MBE, who at that time was Secretary of the Football Association.

How do I know this? Well, I was at the game, and still have in my collection of Horsham FC programmes dating back to 1953, the official programme for that match, priced at 4d in old money!


The Hawthorns, West Chiltington