View Full Version : Happy 90th birthday to a Claret

10-01-2014, 08:55 AM
His birthday was yesterday but the announcement is in today's Burnley Express (see below).

Anyone who has played in the local cricket leagues over the years will remember Richard (Dick) Wills who was an umpire for many years.

He gave me out LBW a few times and I learned one day while he was umpiring our game that he'd been a friend of my dad when they were kids.

His claim to fame is playing for Burnley schoolboys on the Turf against Bolton. Dick was a goalkeeper but the kid at centre forward for Bolton schoolboys was too good for him and scored five (I think) goals. The young Bolton lad was called Nathaniel Lofthouse.

Dick is still very much a Claret and still has his season ticket in the Bob Lord Stand although he's missed a few games recently after a fall.

I know it's belated but Happy 90th Birthday to Dick, a gentleman and top sportsman - and I never knew he was a wing commander.


10-01-2014, 09:01 AM
Fantastic for the Gentleman. Belated congratulations Sir. May you continue to watch the Clarets for many years to come.

10-01-2014, 09:04 AM
many happy returns Dick!

it's quite a claim to fame playing against the great Nat...at least he didn't bundle you over the goal line!

Hope you're soon back at Turf Moor enjoying the football!


10-01-2014, 11:36 AM
Happy Birthday Richard.

Loves nothing better than to tell a tale of all things Claret...especially Alan Brown's Iron Curtain defence...to anyone prepared to listen and I can tell you there are plenty who love to hear his stories.

Well done and here's to many more years in the Bob Lord.

10-01-2014, 02:09 PM
Plenty of lover and sunshine from Mauritius .

10-01-2014, 02:28 PM
What a great story,many happy returns to you sir.

10-01-2014, 02:55 PM
Happy birthday young man and have many more .

10-01-2014, 03:09 PM
"Loves nothing better than to tell a tale of all things Claret...especially Alan Brown's Iron Curtain defence"

Another Alan Brown devotee like my dad was

10-01-2014, 03:38 PM
Just to share my favourite story of Richard's which he tells with so much emotion.

This was the 1947 FA Cup semi-final replay against Liverpool at Maine Road. It was still 0-0, as in the first game at Ewood, when Ray Harrison scored for us with a perfect "pivot" shot to take us to Wembley.

Just one of so many memories from Richard whose mind seems as sharp as it was all those years ago at the semi-final. Let's hope there's another one to bank for him this season as we clinch promotion to the Prem.

The Bedlington Terrier
10-01-2014, 06:03 PM
Happy Birthday Sir! Congratulations and I hope you live long enough to see us established in the Premier League and receive Her Majesty's blessings!

10-01-2014, 07:13 PM
Just been round to see him and he was telling me about his first ever Burnley game when he was seven.

He's in fine form and I don't think it will be too long before he's back on the Turf.