Harty on Sunday football and Worthing Town

LAST Sunday saw the George and Dragon in Tarring village host the annual reunion for Nissan FC, who were one of the county’s top Sunday sides in the 1980s.

Friday, 16th December 2011, 10:00 am

Their ranks boasted such local football luminaries as Richard Tiltman, Steve “Basher” Bates and Adie Cooper, and many believe they were one of the best Sunday sides this town has ever produced.

I say many, because also in the George and Dragon on Sunday was local refereeing legend, Ray “Tarzan” Roberts, who threw another name into the mix as the best ever Sunday side, the Durrington team from the 1970s, managed, I believe, by Wilf Hugill.

There are clearly other candidates. From the late 1970s to the early 80s, there was the Montague Sports team, from Chris Chapman’s original pub, the George in Goring had AFC George in the mid 1980s, and, while it’s now sadly boarded up, possibly never to re-open, in more recent years the Clifton, led firstly by Terry Tribe, then latterly Haydn Potter, had a side that was one of Sussex’s best on a Sunday.

But, while from different eras and times, was there one side that could truly say they were the best?

And, of course, have I missed any significant candidates off my original list?

Football truly is a game of opinions, so I will no doubt get a number of answers in the coming weeks. Please give me your views, as I will also be speaking to the likes of Sir Laurie Claydon*, who, no doubt, has what he believes to be the definitive answer.

l In these difficult economic times and drastic cuts at local government level, it’s lovely to see a local success story and that’s where I’m going on Saturday morning.

I’ve been invited by Worthing Town FC to tour their on-going development at Palatine Park. It’s a very exciting project, which represents a lot of hard work and dedication from a number of people at Town.

In fact, had it not been for the drive of the likes of Ian Stewart, Tony Lelliott, Gary Ridley, Steve Hoare and Scot Towers, I doubt the project would have ever got off the ground.

But, it has, and next week, along with telling you about Albion’s emphatic victory against Burnley, I will report back on my tour.

Ultimately, along with Town, credit must go to council leader, Paul Yallop, and his administration for all the backing, both financially and technically, they have given the project.

Quality sports facilities for our youngsters will help make Worthing a better place.

The local politicians not only promised funding, they actually delivered, so credit where credit’s due.

l *On the subject of Sir Laurie, I’m a little perplexed to see local man, Dan Thompson, who admirably led volunteers to clean up the riot damage in London, being put up for a New Year’s honour, while Laurie’s near 60-year service to local sport again goes apparently unnoticed.

Well done, Dan, you clearly deserve something, but how Laurie has been overlooked all these years still puzzles me.