top of page

CLUB LEGEND: Roy Mitchener

Roy met the love of his life Mary at a Youth Club function in Poole in 1947. They married at St Luke’s church in 1954, and went on to have a son Steven. All three have since gone on to play a huge part in the history of Hamworthy United FC. Not a great deal is known about Roy’s playing career except to say that he played in some representative games within the Royal Navy whilst he was doing his National Service. He was also said to have played a few games for Bournemouth Gasworks, but for how long is not known.

We do know that Roy’s playing career came to an abrupt end in the early sixties with a broken leg whilst playing in an inter-works game. I think it is fair to say that what Roy excelled at was not playing football, but refereeing it, which he did very, very well. He became a very well respected Referee within Dorset and qualified from Class 3 to Class1 (as it was known in those days) in just 1 year.

He very quickly rose up the ranks and was soon elected to the Football League line. His son Steve remembers his Dad taking him all over the southern part of England to watch him run the line at many League games. They included West Ham, Tottenham, Leyton Orient, Bristol City and Rovers, and many more. Roy was one of two linesmen who officiated at The Dell, Southampton in 1969, when England played Scotland in an Under 21 international. The other linesman was Derek Nippard (Bournemouth) who went on to referee a FA Cup Final. Two of the England Players that night were Peter Shilton and Martin Chivers.

Roy’s refereeing career finished at the end of the 1972/73 season, when he handled the Dorset Senior Cup Final at the old Weymouth ground, between Parley Sports and Blandford United, a game which Parley won easily 3-0.

As soon as Jack Cruickshank heard that Roy was retiring from refereeing he was on to him like a shot. Jack at the time was the Chairman, Manager and Secretary of Hamworthy Football Club, who had recently merged with Trinidad Old Boys FC, to become Hamworthy United.

Roy took over the role of Club Secretary a position he held with distinction for over 23years until his untimely very sudden death in 1997. For 20 years he was also a Member of the Dorset County F.A. a position which at times was not easy for Roy or HUFC. It was good when he was able to negotiate for the Hammers to have their very own Clubhouse etc. However it was not easy when he was outnumbered by fellow DCFA Members who were in favour of Poole

Town taking over Hamworthy United after they were allowed to play and train on the pitch. Thankfully they were not successful. Roy of course did many other jobs as well for the Club. These included rolling the pitch (he was often seen pulling the roller behind his own vehicle,) spiking it, and also brushing the water away after rain. He also helped put the nets up, lit the boiler for the baths and all in his own time. This was usually on a Friday evening or a Saturday morning. Roy often ran the line when required to, and washed the kit afterwards; he also took his turn as a volunteer behind the Bar. He collected old newspapers to sell and raise money for the Club All this for free and for very little thanks.

It is fair to say that the Club was devastated when Roy was suddenly taken from us, but that loss was made that little bit easier when his wife Mary and son Steve decided to carry on Roy’s legacy, and take a more active role in the Club. Mary for many years could be seen at every home game with first Betty Wallis and then June Manuel serving in the canteen Steve joined the Committee and is now a Director and Vice-Chairman of the Club. He was also until quite recently responsible for running the Bar and the Hundred Club. I am positive Roy would have been delighted and would have very much approved of Mary and Steve’s decision to carry on his good work. Roy was, and still is missed by so many at Hamworthy Football Club.

A true sign of a true Legend

128 views0 comments


bottom of page