By Roger Nicholson
Stan was still very young when football came into his life. At the tender age of six he would help his father sell programmes at the Bournemouth Gas Works Football Club’s home games.
Despite his small stature and having suffered from chest problems from an early age Stan still enjoyed playing
football and cricket at school. On leaving school he worked as an Apprentice Gas Fitter and apart from
his war service worked for the Gas Company until his retirement in the early seventies.
Stan who had volunteered to join the Air force despite having the option not to, was the first to admit he had
an easy war. He spent most of it as an aircraft fitter in Canada a country he fell in love with, and where he had relations living close to where he was stationed. He returned there several times after the war for holidays with his
wife Betty whom he married soon after his return to Poole. Betty was also to become a Hamworthy United Stalwart, and was never far from Stan’s side right up until his death in 2016, both being in the same care home.
Stan continued to support local football and got heavily involved with the running of Longfleet St Mary’s F.C.
with his friend Don Withers until the late seventies.
However following a disagreement with a new Chairman, Stan left them and was asked to join Hamworthy United’s Committee by Secretary Roy Mitchener. What a wise move that was to prove to be. Stan immediately got involved not only on match days where he could be found marking out the pitch, lighting the stove for
the communal bath, and selling tickets at the gate.
Betty in the meantime would be helping her friend Ethel serve tea and snacks in the canteen. Stan also raised thousands of pounds for the Club by starting the Hundred Club, collecting newspapers for recycling, and organising Christmas raffles and sweep-stakes.
He did all this for nothing and even paid to watch all the games. Stan was HUFC’s Vice-Chairman for a while and later became a Life Vice President of the Club.
He was also responsible for introducing many people to the Hammers including myself in 1984, and he has been my role model ever since. Stan was also the President of the Dorset Combination League predecessor to the Dorset Premier, from 2002 until 2005 and was also granted a Life Vice-Presidency by them.
Stan and Betty unfortunately had no children of their own, and they looked upon Hamworthy United as part of their family. Following their passing they showed just how much they thought of the Club by leaving it a considerable legacy in their will. This was enough to double the size of the Clubhouse, which had been a long time ambition for the Club and has ensured a more stable future for it.
Stan may have been small in stature but he had a big in heart, and like his beloved Betty he was also a giver rather than a taker.
All too rare these days.