ONE OF Mossley AFC’s oldest former players and officials passed on tips to the next generation after seeing their first-ever match.
Les Fitton, who made his debut in 1945 and played a number of friendlies for the club, was at the new U7 side’s inaugural game against Tintwistle on September 9.
And there was a good reason other than going down memory lane for the 88-year-old – his great-grandson Louis O’Donnell was among the group of children making their debuts.
Les, a former midfielder who once rejected a two-year contract from West Ham United, was given VIP treatment and was introduced to the players by manager Mark Holt.
And his attendance was just one of a number of highlights for the Seel Park youngsters.
Biggest of all was the fact the players enjoyed football in new kits that were sponsored by Les’ grandson James who owns O’Donnell’s Solicitors.
Les, who went to St Joseph’s School, Mossley, has been watching the Lilywhites for 84 years as he was aged four when he was first taken to their games in the Cheshire League.
Apart from playing the occasional game for Mossley, Les has served in many off-the-field roles for the club. He has been chairman, vice-chairman, a director, secretary and match secretary.
Les, who lives in Hurst, still goes to games with son Nick, a right back who was in Mossley’s squad when they reached the final of the FA Trophy in 1980.
And Les’ cousin Ken Brierley also played for Mossley and Stalybridge Celtic, though he went on to greater things as he also starred for Oldham Athletic and Liverpool.
Les also played for Chester City and for Derry City in Northern Ireland where he was posted for his National Service in the Royal Air Force.
And it was towards the end of his National Service that he was offered a contract by West Ham, but rejected it as he wanted to return home.