100 years at Ewen Fields

Nationwide North side Hyde United saluted four of their oldest ex-players on Boxing Day, to mark the centenary of the club's move to Ewen Fields.

Wilf Duddy (89), Cyril Lawrence (86), Eddie Parker (85) and Jack Hilton (81), all attended the derby game with Stalybridge Celtic alongside Olwen Hodkinson, the niece of 90-year-old Tommy Young who played for the Tigers in 1932.

Les Sutton, who managed the club when it won the Cheshire League treble in 1982, was also present.

All four former players were taken on to the pitch before kick-off, where some showed age had not done too much to diminish their skills.

And Cyril Lawrence, a former Blackpool and Wrexham player, unveiled a plaque in the Pete O'Brien Lounge at half time.

Cyril played for Hyde in 1939-40 after the Football League wound up because of the outbreak of war, and his teammates included men such as Manchester United full-back John Aston Snr and future Liverpool manager Joe Fagan.

At the end of that season Cyril joined the Royal Navy. He served in the battleship HMS King George V and was present at the sinking of the Bismarck in 1941.

He said: "It was a great day. It's the first time I've been back to the ground in 60 years and I can't believe how much it's changed. It's a wonderful place now and the pitch is beautiful."

Club chairman Steve Hartley added: "We wanted to do something to mark such a significant landmark in our history and honouring old players seemed the best way to do so."

Hyde United's links with Ewen Fields go back to 1906 when the club's predecessors, Hyde FC - who famously lost 26-0 to Preston in the FA Cup in
1887 - merged with Hyde St George's who were members of the Lancashire Combination.

Hyde FC folded in 1917 because of what was termed war reaction, but were reborn as Hyde United in 1917.

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