I have today heard the sad news from ex Canary Mike Grafton that Hitchin Town legend Bernie Gogan passed away last week. He had been suffering from dementia but something else appears to have been the cause of death. The Club send their condolences to his widow Marion and the rest of his family.
Bernie was inducted in to the Hall of Fame after forming a lethal partnership with Roy Cutler for four seasons from 1967-68 to 1970-71 when they scored 198 goals between them.
Bernie played his first game on 5 September 1967 and his last on 15 May 1971. In that period he scored 108 goals in 210 appearances including 32 in 1968-69 and 35 in 1969-70. He was part of the team that were runners-up in the Isthmian League and memorably scored two goals in the London Senior Cup final on 9 May 1970 when this was a really prestigious competition.
Cutler and Gogan were very much my heroes in my early years as a Hitchin Town supporter and are surely among the best strikers to ever play at Top Field. Bernie was in particular a great header of the ball but they just worked so well together.
Bernie was a school master who was born in Hampshire. His first senior club was Slough, where he scored 133 in 177 games, and he also played for Hemel Hempstead and Chesham before joining Hitchin. Bernie and his strike partner Roy were firm friends off the field as well and in recent years they have often visited Top Field with Hugh Pratt and were still great company and keenly interested in their old club.
The funeral of Bernie Gogan will take place at 3.30pm on Wednesday 4 September at Crownhill Crematorium, Milton Keynes MK8 0AH. Anyone wishing to go would be most welcome and should use car parks 3 and 4.
BY ROY IZZARD