We have had confirmation that The Pitching In Southern Football League will officially restart on Saturday 12 December, assuming that the second national lockdown finishes on 2 December as planned. The recent survey carried out by the League saw 59% of the clubs (including Hitchin Town) vote for 12 December as the restart date.
For further information, the proposed round dates for the FA Trophy lost by the lockdown are as follows but subject to final ratification by the FA:
- First Round 7/8/9 December (Saturday 5 if both clubs agree)
- Second Round 14/15/16 December
- Third Round Saturday 19 December
It has been another sad week for the club with news that our club president Tony Huckle lost his battle with liver cancer last Saturday. Please read Mick Docking’s excellent tribute to Tony on our website as he really does capture his character and personality. We have lost far too many of our older generation of supporters and helpers over the last 12 months and it really is heartbreaking.
I had known Tony for more than 40 years and he was a unique character. There are so many stories told about Tony that seem to be somewhat exaggerated but more often than not in Tony’s case they were true. He was larger than life, generous to a fault and the most sociable person you could meet. Tales of his drinking are legendary and his ”partnership” with ex club secretary Alan Sexton was quite unique. I lost count of the number of times at away games our team coach was kept waiting for Tony and Alan to finish their last drink!
But Tony cared deeply about Hitchin Town. He rarely missed a game home or away before his illness and was a very good ambassador for the club. For years he was in charge of our hospitality and he really helped us get our reputation as a friendly club. He was also very involved in fundraising over the years and was very supportive of our managers. He also was popular with our players and I received an email from Tony Luff that really shows this:
Roy, I had to email you. I am truly honoured to have known this gent and a great man, a legend in my opinion and a good friend. I loved seeing him anytime and I saw him mainly at Hitchin Town games and we always had a catch up. I am lost for words as I had the upmost respect for Tony. I am so upset to hear this news. He will be missed by all who knew him and what a great man he was. He can have a catch up with Alan Sexton now with a pint.
ONLINE CLUB SHOP
A further reminder that with Christmas getting nearer we now have some items for sale on our online club shop:
- A limited number of replica shirts
- Hitchin Town club scarves
- Hitchin Town branded face masks
- Some great books by GameofthePeople
- Please follow this link to buy your Hitchin Town merchandise
The interview with Layne will be posted on our social media outlets on Sunday.
MANAGER’S NOTES WITH MARK BURKE
I was absolutely gutted to hear the news that club legend Tony Huckle (affectionately known as H) had passed away. I first met Tony in 1985 and he was always a very friendly and generous man. He always had a joke and a smile and was very popular with all the players that I played with down the years. I have received a number of condolences from former players that I will pass on to Tony’s family.
Tony will leave a big hole behind and will be sadly missed. He will now reunite with his great friend Alan Sexton and I am sure they will enjoy a few beers together as the look down on their beloved club.
Over the years I have seen numerous players, players’ parents, supporters and opposition officials ”Huckleised”when joining H for a drink after the game and then going home somewhat the worse for wear!
We received news from the League this week that the fixtures will restart on Saturday 12 December with the FA Trophy tie with Mickleover Sports likely to be on Monday 7 December. I have spoken to all the players and they are now geared up to maintain their fitness levels in readiness for the resumption of team training on Thursday 3 December.
We will be looking to either have another internal game or a friendly at the Arena on Saturday 5 December in preparation for the FA Trophy tie on the following Monday.
ACADEMY UPDATE BY MICHAEL JONES
We have been carrying on with our Pro Direct tournament to keep all the players engaged and try and keep the competitive edge for both players and coaches.
All games have been close games so far, with the table standing at present.
1st – Damon Lathrope – 15 points
2nd – Charlie Horlock – 13 points
3rd – Josh Mollison – 11 points
We will continue to play these games until we are allowed to restart our league campaign.
We are continuing to work towards our next trial which will be on Monday 21st December 2020. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
CROWDFUNDER UPDATE BY KATE DELLER
Lockdown has at least enabled us to keep on top of the maintenance programme at Top Field.
Paths have been cleared of encroaching turf. We have been staining old wood, tackling Ivy and painting toilet floors with non slip paint.
Our old turnstiles are going to receive some much deserved renovations over the coming weeks so that they will be ready for the day football can return to a form of normality.
BY ROY IZZARD