Lifelong Bloaters support is marked
THEIR team may not be among Football's elite, but fans Liz and Wally Giles are definitely in a league of their own.Together the couple have supported Great Yarmouth Football Club for a combined total of 130 years.
THEIR team may not be among Football's elite, but fans Liz and Wally Giles are definitely in a league of their own.
Together the couple have supported Great Yarmouth Football Club for a combined total of 130 years.
Liz and Wally may have seen the club's fortunes fluctuate on the pitch but a love of the Bloaters runs through them like a stick of Yarmouth rock.
The years of post war austerity were at their height when Liz and Wally started attending matches in the late 1940s.
Much has changed over the following decades but the couples' love for the Wellesley Road club has never wavered.
And this weekend their years of dedicated service is being recognised with a party at the club's Legends Bar.
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Retired carpenter Wally has served on the club's committee since the early 1980s and Liz still bakes cakes for the players on match days.
Despite his fading eyesight Wally still attends all the teams' home games and regularly travels to away matches.
“I have really enjoyed my years with the club, through all the ups and downs and still love being involved,” said Wally.
“One of the first games I remember was an FA Cup tie against Shrewsbury -our centre forward at the time Roy Hollis went on to play for Norwich and Spurs.
“The most memorable period was when Bill Punton was manager and particular highlight was reaching the semi-final of the FA vase in 1983.
“When I first went down in the early 1950s the gates were between 2-3,000, now if we get 70 spectators it's a good gate.”
Yarmouth born and bred the couple, both 75, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary three years ago.
Their family has also inherited their passion for the club which famously boasts the world's oldest football stand.
Son-in-law Kevin Cruickshank was first team manager last season have previously taken charge of the youth and reserve teams.
Daughters Sarah and Anne and granddaughter Rhian work at the club on match days and twin sons Andrew and Richard both used to treat injured players with the magic sponge.
Liz said: “I lived up on the seafront near the waterways and started going to games as a school girl. I still love baking the cakes and the games when we beat our friends across the river.”