I received an email from John Green this week telling me that his father Chris Green had passed away on Tuesday. His father was a lifelong Hitchin supporter and I thought the email was so lovely I asked John for permission to reproduce it on our website to which he readily agreed. I hope you agree it is a great tribute to his father.
I’m writing to you regarding my father, Chris Green, whom sadly passed away peacefully last Tuesday.
Chris was a lifelong Hitchin Town fan (1970’s onwards). He spent the majority of his life living close to the club, in Redhill Road. As a teenager he would split his time between Luton and Hitchin matches. Over the years I have heard many a story about his ‘big nights’ at Top Field. The story I heard most the one regarding an away trip to Merthyr Tydfil, which pained him.
When he become a father, he passed on his love and passion for the club to me and my brother James. Every other Saturday & Tuesday we would walk down Redhill Road, then along Bedford Road to the ground. One of my fondest memoirs of children, was post-match all the supporters walking the same path back home talking about the match. I vividly remember it, as one of the supporters would have a small radio and pass on the local and top-flight scores (the days before modern technology when scores became readily accessible 24/7). Me and my brother both embraced the magic of the club and didn’t miss any home games for many years, as well as playing in the local youth teams.
Luckily for us in the mid-nineties, there was great success around the club. We got to enjoy together, winning Division 1 on the last day of the season, Burton away, Hereford away and home, Bristol Rovers home, and Borough away on Boxing Day (Steve Conroy Double). Dads favourite match with us was the win over St. Albans in the 4th qualifying round in the 90’s, a towering Gary Williams header at the back post just after half-time. They had some big names in the 90’s, it felt a big scalp. Dad also worked in the St. Albans area, with many St. Albans fans which made the victory even sweeter for him.
I’m sure although you may not recognise the name, you would certainly recognise the face of my dad.
In the most recent years, he has lived in North Norfolk. Not being a technology man he followed the scores via the Teletext route, which was difficult. I would have to regularly keep him updated with the scores. He still managed to make it to the big games though, Hungerford, Leamington, Leatherhead and Solihull, as I would make the six-hour round trip to North Norfolk to collect him.
Living in North Norfolk, with a more elderly population, and Norwich being the most recognised team in the area, it was common practice when he wore his Hitchin Town shirt (which he regularly did to my mum’s annoyance) to be misidentified as a Norwich fan. Being fiercely loyal, when this occurred, he would then go about correcting the mistake, and listing all the great wins Hitchin have achieved over the years. It was quite funny to witness, as you could see the other individual was thinking, ‘I wish I never said anything’.
As the Club brought Dad so match happiness (as well as pain and disappointment in equal measure) when he is cremated next week, he will be wearing his Hitchin Town shirt.
As the service is being held outside the Hitchin area, we are keen to try a local opportunity for friends to pay their respect to dad. We would like to see if it is possible to Sponsor a Match in Chris’s name.
In an ideal world the home match on the 25th January would be ideal, as it would have been dad’s 64TH birthday the following day. Chris has one Grandson, whom we would like to make the MOM selection and presentation.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email Roy. I apologise for it’s length but felt it important to share the love and joy Dad took from the club. I have spent enough time round the Club to know it survives because of people like yourself whose goodwill and charity make it function.
So in a way it has felt like writing a thank you letter to all you volunteers who keep the club running.