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Worthing

Isthmian Premier Division

Sat 14th Aug 2021

Kick off - 15:00

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On Saturday We Remember Harry

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On Wednesday 10th February, just two days after his 82nd birthday (a birthdate he shares with JV incidentally), everyone at Folkestone Invicta were incredibly sad to hear of the death of lifelong Folkestone Town/Invicta supporter Harry Lester. He had been a supporter for many years and was well known to many of our supporters. On Saturday, we remember and celebrate Harry’s life and support with his family as we welcome our friends and near neighbours from Hythe Town to the BuildKent Stadium, kick-off 3:00pm. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone at Hythe Town for agreeing to be our opponents for such an important fixture.

As mentioned, Harry had been a lifelong supporter of football in Folkestone, following firstly the old Town team is its various incarnations and then Invicta when we took their place as the senior club in the town. He served on the Supporters’ Club committees for both and spent a lot of time fundraising for the club in his own indomitable style, which even included having his daughter Donna selling raffle tickets when she was about ten! On the coach to away matches, you knew as soon as the final pick-up had been made, he and Ted (or ‘Statler and Waldorf’ as they were affectionally known!) would leave their seats (that was an experience in itself, sitting behind them on the coach and hearing them bicker all the way there and all the way home!) and badger everyone to buy a team on the card. Harry used to take great delight in being admonished by the driver for not sitting down, not that he took any notice, and he kept a tally of how many times they moaned at him!

I first got to know him at the football (where else!?), when he used to regale me of the tales of the players he used to watch, which I found interesting as he was around the same age as my Dad and so I could then talk to him about the players discussed as he too went to the games. He then started giving me lifts to the away games, which was an experience in itself! At the time he had a high-performance company car and the trips left me and Dean hanging on as if we were experiencing white-knuckle rides akin to a theme park, although having said that I always felt safe, even if we did kiss the ground when we got home! This continued for many years, and we had a lot of trips and laughs during that time as he was a funny, quick witted man who loved a joke, although his jokes could be a bit corny! One I remember, when he used to be shirt sponsor for David Bean, he used to call him a ‘Harrycost’ (rather than Haricot) Bean!

After his death there were many tributes paid to Harry. Chairman Paul Morgan posted; ‘Absolutely devastated, Harry was a very friendly and funny person, and it was great to catch up with him at every game. I had a lot of time for Harry, he made me feel so welcome when I got involved with Folkestone Invicta FC. I for one will miss him very much. RIP Harry it was a real pleasure knowing you.’

Whilst Manager Neil Cugley added; ‘I was incredibly sad to hear the news about Harry, after an away game he was always the first to tell me where I’d gone wrong on the coach on the way home! But he always did it in a nice way with a smile on his face, and no matter what the result, he would always say see you at the next game. I’d known him a long time and he’ll be sadly missed by me and all at the football club.’

Several other supporters also left tributes on the club’s website, which can be viewed here: https://fifc.proboards.com/thread/6665/harry-lester.

Apart from Invicta, Harry was also a ‘Gooner’, and he used to have a £5.00 bet with Ted every season over whether Arsenal would finish above Spurs in the Premier League, he joked that he won so many times, he had to declare it to the tax man as regular income!

We always used to have a laugh at the football although he was always a bit wary of club officials, he used to say, ‘never trust a person at the football wearing a tie!’ Even more so when I became Club Secretary and started wearing one!’ It is therefore quite ironic that he was buried wearing his Invicta tie!

Unfortunately, due to COVID restriction, we were unable to attend Harry’s funeral, but we said our final goodbye as he made one last visit to the BuildKent Stadium on the way from his home to the Crematorium, in what was an emotional send-off.

Due to his support and loyalty, it was felt by everyone at the club that we needed to do something to have a reminder of all he did. The recent 50/50 Draws where held in his name, but we also wanted something a bit more permanent and so we’ve installed the Harry Lester Electronic Clock and Scoreboard on the side of the Wilf Armory Suite. This will be switched on the first time at 2:45pm on Saturday by members of Harry’s family, alongside a plaque celebrating his life.

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You may be asking why we picked a clock and scoreboard, but older supporters may remember that when the Folkestone Town club played in the Southern League, as part of their League sponsorship, Beazer Homes supplied a clock which had one hand and a segment showing forty-five minutes. It needed to be started at kick-off, and then at half-time the hand had to be moved back to the top of the clock in readiness to time the second half. Harry was the man who took charge of doing this, and he was a familiar site heading towards the Brian Merryman Stand (or Grandads’ Stand as it was known then!) with a long white pole in his hand before the game and at half-time, so it would seem appropriate to turn back the clock (literally!) and honour him in this way.

Those shown below donated to the cost of the clock and scoreboard, the club would like to thank all those that help us remember Harry in this way.

 

Dean, Tina & Family Cathy, Mark & Jack Julian & Cindy
Donna & Scott Charlie Kirsty & Matt
Rikki, Karen & Family Danny & Scott Vinny, Gill & Family
     
Bob Dix John Hancock Pat & Pam Mercer
Colin Ashman Martin Stevens Paul Morgan
Dave Coulter Michael Cannon Paul's Hairdressers
Don Nuttman Mick Cork Shirley
Folkestone Invicta Supporters Club Neil & Pauline Cugley Sue & Elaine Williams
Ian Mackay Neil & Sally Pilcher Tony Brough
Jim Pellatt Ollie Smith Willy Webb

 

Now on to our opponents, last season, when it ended prematurely, Hythe Town were lying in 8th place with ten points, but from just six games and having played fewer games than almost everyone above them they would have been expected to mount a promotion challenge as the season progressed. Managed by Steve Watt, they have retained the majority of last season’s squad, including former Invicta players Tom Walmsley and Jarred Trespaderne, and they’ve added strike Noel Leighton, signed from Margate, and centre back Cameron Reardon, who has joined from East Grinstead Town. Off the field there has also been a change of Chairman as long-serving Paul Markland has stepped down and has been replaced by former Invicta Chairman Mark Jenner.

They’ve played four pre-season games so far, all against SCEFL Premier Division teams. Having drawn 1-1 at K Sports where Leighton scored his first goal for his new club, they lost 3-0 at Deal Town, drew  0-0 at home with Kennington and then picked up their first win beating Canterbury City 1-0 with the winning strike coming from Morgan Williamson, which was his first senior goal for the club.

The last time we met was during the 2019/20 season when we knocked them out of the Kent Reliance Kent Senior Cup, winning 5-1 at home in the First Round. The teams for that game were:

Folkestone Invicta; Tim Roberts (Henry Newcombe, 81 mins), Josh Vincent, Alfie Paxman, Matt Newman, Callum Davies (Captain), Sam Hasler, Finn O’Mara, Ronnie Dolan, Ira Jackson (Kieron McCann, 70 mins), Stephen Smith (Scott Heard, 79 mins) & Johan Ter Horst, (Unused Sub; Tyler Sterling).

Goalscorers; Josh Vincent (25 & 60 mins), Johan Ter Horst (45 & 48 mins) & Sam Hasler (66 mins).

Hythe Town; Will Godmon, Danny Divine, Aaron Simpson, James Rogers (Captain) (Josh Eka, 85 mins), Ollie Rowe, Callum Adonis-Taylor, Tom Carlton (Ryan Nicholls (g/k), 23 mins), Ross Ibbertson, Tom Walmsley, Kiernan Hughes-Mason (Jude Harding, 73 mins) & Jarred Trespaderne, (Unused Subs; Alex Flisher & Jacob Brown).

Goalscorer; Kiernan Hughes-Mason (2 mins).

Looking ahead to the game, Manager Neil Cugley said; ‘It’ll be great to see as many of you as possible at the game on Saturday as we remember one of our most popular supporters Harry Lester and turn on the clock and scoreboard in his honour. ‘I’d also like to thank Hythe for agreeing to play the game.’ He then added; ‘As far as the squad is concerned, we have a few niggling injuries around the club at the moment, but I’m hopeful most will be fit to take part and if not then they have got a full week before our next game.’

 

Folkestone Invicta’s Pre-Season Fixtures and Results

 

Date

Opponents

H/A

Kick-off/Result (F-A)

Sat 26th June

Ramsgate

H

4-2

Sat 3rd July

Welling United

H

3-1

Sat 10th July

Eastbourne Borough

H

3-3

Tue 13th July

Chatham Town

H

2-0

Sat 17th July

Hythe Town

H

3:00pm

Sat 24th July

Dover Athletic

A

3:00pm

Sat 31st July

Ashford United

A

3:00pm

Sat 7th August

Maidstone United

H

3:00pm

Sat 14th August

Worthing (ILP)

H

3:00pm

With the Pitching In Isthmian League fixtures being announced last Wednesday, you’ll notice the first fixture on Saturday 14th August, Worthing at home, has been added.

 

Entrance to the game

All entrance will be pay on the turnstiles, which will open at 1:30pm, there will be no pre-bought tickets available.

At the Wilmoth (cricket ground) end, entry will be by cash only whilst at the turnstile by Bar Invicta payment will be accepted either by cash or card.

Prices are: £5.00 and £3.00 (concessions).

To give everyone a souvenir of this important day, you’ll also receive a free programme at the turnstile when you go in.