Long term member Alan Turner has died at the age of 84 years.
His first game for the Hoppers was for the A Team in 1953, having just left Preston Grammar School. After qualifying as a solicitor at the age of 21 he did his National Service in the Royal Army Service Corps and spent 21 months in Singapore where he spent most of his time playing for a variety of Service teams throughout the Far East: His Corps, The Army and also Far East Services. I don’t remember hearing about anything to do with soldiering since he also played ‘footy’ and swam in many service competitions.
When he returned from his holiday in the sun he rejoined the Hoppers but after only a few games broke his leg rather badly and decided to retire. He tried his hand at refereeing but being a lawyer found the laws of the game too confusing. However he did the club proud using his skills as a lawyer when his speciality, ‘licensing’, helped the club enormously in the days when Licensing Magistrates all seemed to be members of the Band of Hope and Alan’s deep knowledge of the niceties of licensing laws usually showed him on the winning side.
He was a regular on the terrace and watched his last game from the stand where he saw the ‘Nil’ game against Wirral and delighted in the 61-0 result. His last words to me the day before he died was to ask what league we were playing in next season. “Once a Hopper, always a Hopper!”