Hart returns to Crown Meadow
Mark BoggisONE of the oldest surviving former Lowestoft Town players returned to Crown Meadow to see The Blues triumph at the ground he had graced in the 1930s.There were memorable scenes as 90-year-old Gordon Hart was given special VIP treatment on April 18 as he watched Lowestoft beat Histon Reserves 4-0.Mark Boggis
ONE of the oldest surviving former Lowestoft Town players returned to Crown Meadow to see The Blues triumph at the ground he had graced in the 1930s.
There were memorable scenes as 90-year-old Gordon Hart was given special VIP treatment on April 18 as he watched Lowestoft beat Histon Reserves 4-0.
After reaching the age of 90 in February, Mr Hart returned to the Meadow last month - and as special guests of the club he was joined by his sons Bob and Keith and their uncle Ken to meet players, club officials and supporters for the occasion.
His son Bob recalled his father's playing days at Lowestoft Town FC.
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'He played for Lowestoft in the 1930s and must be the only surviving player of that era still alive; unless anyone knows otherwise,' he said.
'As special guest he was also given a seat in the directors box to watch the game and many people he met were interested in his playing days, his cups and medals from that era and he thoroughly enjoyed the day.'
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After first being selected for the Town Boys team in 1932, at the age of 13 - having scored seven goals in the trial - this side went on to defeat Yarmouth Boys 7-0 in the youth team's cup.
'Dad played and beat teams from Cambridge, Leicester, Norwich, March and Luton in the nationals but lost 1-0 to West Ham Boys after the referee admitted he allowed a goal, which was scored after the ball went out of play,' Bob Hart said.
After making his debut for the first team at 16 he received a medal for winning the East Anglian League.
'He signed for Barry Town in Wales in 1936/37 season winning the Ninian Park Cup,' Bob Hart added. 'He rejoined Lowestoft in 1938 helping the Blues win the Eastern Counties League Championship and played against Swindon in the FA Cup but lost 6-0.'
After joining the Navy in 1939 and continuing to play whenever possible, Gordon Hart was spotted by a Plymouth scout at the end of the war and signed for a season.
'He won a cup medal with the reserves,' Bob Hart said
'And he had a trial with Torquay before returning home where he finished his career playing local football.'
Still living in Kessingland today, with his wife Lilian who is 87, the couple have been married for 67 years.
On the day last month, Lowestoft also did a special feature in the matchday programme called 'From the Archives'where a brief history of Mr Hart's playing career, along with a photograph of the Town Boys team of 1932-33, was reproduced.