Chorley Football Club’s oldest former player has died at the age of 97.
Second World War veteran Albert Mockett, of Whittle-le-Woods, Chorley, spent more than 15 years as a midfielder for the club. He also played for Chorley Cricket Club and built a number of houses in the town.
He had been ill for some time and passed away in his sleep in the home he had built himself in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Albert had just celebrated his 65th wedding anniversary with wife Hazel last month.
And he also leaves behind, daughter Avril, son Adrian, grand-children Rachael, Lauren, Alistair and Nadine and great-grandson Lazer.
His cousin and Chorley cricket club chairman Peter Mockett said: “He was a legend. I’m sorry to see him go.
“He was a local builder and a tremendous character in the town.”
A spokesman for the cricket club said: “He was a club stalwart. Albert opened the batting for us for many years, from the late 1940s through to the early 1970s and also kept wicket.
“He played in our 1967 Slater Cup victory which was our first ever trophy and also in our first league championship winning team in 1971.
“He later built our new pavilion and scoreboard.”
Chorley FC chairman Ken Wright passed on the club’s condolences to the family.
He said: “He attended our 130th anniversary celebration in 2013. I didn’t know him personally but it is a very sad day for the football club.
“We wish his family well.”
Speaking to our sister paper the Chorley Guardian before the football club’s 130th celebrations in October 2013, Albert explained how he turned down a professional contract at Bolton to continue playing cricket as well as football.
He said: “I used to live on Pilling Lane and the manager of Bolton Wanderers came round to my house to sign me.
“I was only 16 and he said I was a bit small so I would have to wait two years.
“Well I didn’t want to wait two years so I said I didn’t want to play because I still wanted to play cricket for Chorley.”
Not a fan of heading the ball, a halt was put on the tricky winger’s Chorley career after being called up to serve his country.
He said: “I had to stop playing for six years. I went and served for the Royal Engineers during the war but I still managed to play football there.”