When I started looking into the story of Hooe Football Club, because, I suppose, I knew nothing about it, I didn′t think there would be much to find; how wrong I was!
There were many reports in the "Bexhill Chronicle" (B. C.) and the "Bexhill Observer" (B. O.) of matches played and, in some cases, these gave names of the players, which was the bit I was interested in.
The "Observer" didnít print much about Hooe opr the neighbouring villages until sometime in the early 1920s, while the "Chronicle" began to write snippets of local news much earlier.
In October 2008, Peter Hayward, of Hooe, sent me photographs of the team in the late 1940s, together with a list of the players, in those photos – for me, these images made the football team more real than a thousand words could have done.
In several reports of matches, the name of the goalkeeper was given, simply, as "Newport" and, sometimes, it was "O. Newport". This person had to be one of my uncles Ė either Oswald ("Ossie") or Owen but I didnít know which one. Eventually, I was pleased to find him listed as "Owen Newport", so the mystery was solved.
It was interesting to see how the village stood behind their team, with jumble sales and whist drives being organised to raise funds to support the local lads.
There was one whist drive, organised for 21st May 1927, in aid of an injured player where of the prize givers is given as "Newport" just that and nothing else, but who he was is unknown. I think. however, that he was, most probably, my grandfaather, John James Newport, though I don't think he was ever interested inootball. It could have been Owen Newport but I don't know nor do I think so.
One of the photographs given by Peter, is, obviously, taken at one of the team′s social events, but the picture doesn′t give any clue.
What can be seen, in the picture, is a blackboard with, written on it, the team′s motto – or so it says – I wonder if it was and if it still is, today. Below is the motto, as written on that blackboard,
What a jolly crew,
Right wing, left wing,
Centre forward too,
Shoot for the goal boys,
Pass it fast and true,
It′s the motto of HOOE football team.
The extracts from the newspapers can be seen, in "pdf" format, if you click HERE