Sport

Horsham F.C mourn loss of a legend

Horsham Football Club is heartbroken to announce that Club President Frank King has passed away in hospital following a short illness. Frank King, Life President of Horsham Football Club had been honoured with a Ryman League long service award, and was born and raised in Horsham. He clearly recalled football restarting at the old Queens Road ground in 1945, saying: “The club buildings were used as a depot during war, so the players had to get changed in The Queens Head! I was first introduced to the club when I went to watch a visiting Cossack show, then I joined the juniors and on match days sold programmes at a penny a time and delivered club letters round the town, so they invited me onto the committee and I played for the second team.”  Frank trained with the first team and was a ball boy, too and could proudly recite the entire home grown side contesting Horsham’s first major FA Cup game – against Notts County – in 1947.
But, there was far more to Frank King than just football: family life, St Mary’s Parish Church, Sussex and Horsham cricket and, especially, his beloved dogs, so much part of his life down the years, were also vital ingredients.
After extensive business experience locally, service on the hospital committee,  running the youth guild at St Mary’s and singing in the choir, Frank became a verger, which, unexpectedly led to a unique opportunity when he spotted an advertisement for a Verger Sacristan at Westminster Abbey. In ten years there Frank met the Queen, Prince Phillip,  Charles, Diana, the Queen Mother, Bill Clinton, John Major and top sportsmen attending services, all leaving a lasting impression. He conducted tours, led processions, prepared communion and locked up the building for the night when everyone had gone. Frank told The District Post: “I was so lucky, this was a great privilege. I enjoyed so many magic moments at the Abbey and they continued to invited to their garden parties after I retired.”
Frank loved attending St Mary’s and after several years of uncertainty since Horsham FC’s departure from Queen Street was eagerly awaiting seeing the Hornets play at their own purpose built stadium, sadly a sight that he did not quite live to see. Horsham Football Club CEO John Lines told the District Post: “This is a very sad day for the Club, Frank was much-loved for his enthusiasm and encouragement and our thoughts are very much with his wife Pauline and the family at this most sad time. There will never be another Frank.”

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