Oakwell Legend - Harold from Hoyland

Discussion in 'Bulletin Board' started by horsforthtyke, Nov 29, 2023.

  1. hor

    horsforthtyke Well-Known Member

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    Had the absolute pleasure of this gents company last night, sure some on here must know him.

    Borrowed a mates corporate season tickets in legends suite. On arrival they put me and my lad on table 8 with Harold who was there on his own getting stuck in to his meal. Looked about 80. Got chatting asked him when he first started coming - answer 1946. Thought "wow" and then expected him to say "when I was a little lad" etc but actually said "when I left the RAF".

    Harold is 100. And what a lovely bloke. Told us his life story - left school at 14, joined RAF in 1941, served 4 years in the far East as a ground wireless operator on forays into the jungle with just his equipment and a ground sheet (couldn't carry a tent so slept under the stars), kept applying to be a pilot but they said he wasn't the right breed, left after the war and worked in steelworks rest of his career. Married 72 years, his wife died 2 years ago which is when he started going in posh seats for company. Only stopped driving last year and now his "kids" drop him off and pick him up. Still lives on his own in Hoyland I think.

    Reds wise favourite player Tommy Taylor. Used to walk 5 miles to ground and back as couldn't afford bus fare and admission. Some great tales. And he also thinks we are too tippy tippy at the moment. Sharp as a tack, bright as a button etc. Still likes a pint and clearly all the staff fuss over him with extra portions etc. Shook his hand at full time and clearly handshake like an ox.

    Don't make them like that anymore do they? What a legend. Hope he has many more years left in him.
     
  2. BrunNer

    BrunNer Well-Known Member

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    What a lovely post. Sounds like he was more entertaining than the match.

    Hope someone is writing his stories down.
     
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  3. Redhelen

    Redhelen Well-Known Member

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  4. hor

    horsforthtyke Well-Known Member

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    Honestly made the evening. Never looked 100 in a million years. What a gent.
     
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  5. Red

    Redblueunwhite Well-Known Member

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    Definitely more entertaining then the match.
     
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  6. Tyk

    Tyketical Masterstroke Well-Known Member

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    Get Harold on here, he'd bring the average age down.
     
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  7. kir

    kirky boy Well-Known Member

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    Wow it must be a pleasure to be in his company, the old breed hope they never go away.
     
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  8. John Peachy

    John Peachy Well-Known Member

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    Great story. Much respect to Harold.
     
  9. hor

    horsforthtyke Well-Known Member

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    Not sure I've ever met a centurion before, certainly not one with all their faculties. Hats off to the staff as well always checking on him, asking after grandkids etc. Clearly a fixture in the legends suite....
     
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  10. Tur

    Turbotyke Active Member

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    THAT'S MY DAD!!!!!
    Dad has lived in Ward Green since 1976 when we left Elsecar where he had been the sub-postmaster at Hill Street Post Office. He still lives in the same bungalow and lives independently supported mostly by my sister and her husband and now I am retired some more by me; we all live in Ward Green. He enlisted at 18 in 1941 to join the RAF as he knew he would probably be called up and put in any old army setup. He tried to be a pilot but failed the assimilation exam, a pilot later told him that basic machine was more sensitive than than an actual plane, yes he went on to be a radio operator and in 1942 he waved off Grandma and Grandad from the mobilisation centre at Blackpool before getting on the train to Glasgow with the rest of the servicemen and women where he would embark on a troop ship to take him to the far east mostly India until demob in 1946. He has worked as a clerk most of his life for government departments and finally BMBC retiring in 1988. He has survived 3 heart attacks but a hard upbringing made him tough.
    Dad and all his siblings( except eldest sister Mini who was a baby) were born on Longfields Crescent Hoyland, no NHS in them days or DWP to try and claim any benefits. A total of 9 children, Mini died tragically in a road traffic accident in 1946 it also nearly killed the 2nd eldest Iris but she lived to about 92 years. twins Eric and Alan died as infants they were born prematurely and only lasted a few months, Dad tells me that they the family cradled each one to say good bye before being taken away.
    Dad once told me as little pre-school child he was taken by his Mum to the Catholic church to have soup and bread although they were protestants, i said how old were you? he said about 3; 1926 and the miners strike grandad was a striking miner therefore no money or food.
    Earlier this year we had a surprise 100th birthday party for him (a week before the actual date) and it was the first time in ages all surviving siblings were together Dad 100, Mavis 96, Colin 89 and the baby John at 82. I also saw a cousin that I have not seen for around 40 years.
    Credit to BFC when he renewed his legends suite ticket they let him have it for half price and before one of the games early on in the season they had everybody sing Happy Birthday to him before presenting him with a cake which he later had my sister cut up and brought most of it back to distribute to those people he has become friendly with in the Legends suite.
    He actually worked on the turnstiles for a while until it got too cold for him and whenever I see Michael Spinks he always asks how Dad is because he was impressed with dad's work ethic and the methodical way he did the job. Dad stopped driving at 99 after he wrote his car off at Ward Green crossroads, he had just come back from the gym( yes you read it right) but had not taken notice of my sister and me to rest in the cafe and have a coffee and something to eat because he would not pay £2 for a coffee!!! I had to explain to him a few months later why he had blacked out, no food or drink since breakfast had left him dehydrated, low blood sugar and electrolyte imbalance! That was a long conversation!
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    Dad and his new best mate at Barnsley football club! Bruce has been very good to Dad ringing him when he was poorly in hospital and when he came home.
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    There you are I'll leave this post with Dad and the rest of the legends.
     
  11. x11barnsley

    x11barnsley Well-Known Member

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    Top story
    Top man
     
  12. DSLRed

    DSLRed Well-Known Member

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    Brilliant story. What a top bloke. Hope I am still around and driving at 99!
     
  13. JLWBigLil

    JLWBigLil Well-Known Member

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    As good a post as I've ever read on here.
     
  14. Tyke_67

    Tyke_67 Well-Known Member

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    What a brilliant story.
     
  15. Bri

    Brian Mahoneys Waist Well-Known Member

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    Great read,what a top man.I bet he never thought he'd end up with more hair than Steve Foster.
     
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  16. hor

    horsforthtyke Well-Known Member

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    Wow. That's great stuff. He came over as a top bloke in the chat we had and he did mention his lack of drinking was an issue, bless him. Seemed to have a healthy appetite as well for an old un. Hope he keeps going for years to come
     
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  17. Prince of Risborough

    Prince of Risborough Well-Known Member

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    This is what makes this a good place to be
     
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  18. onemickybutler

    onemickybutler Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic story. What a bloke your dad is.
    Legend.
     
  19. Red

    Redblueunwhite Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story about a wonderful Gentleman, and great photos. He's earn't the respect of so many people over the year's.
     
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  20. jud

    judith charmers Well-Known Member

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    Best thread of 2023 by a country mile!!!!!

    What a top bloke Harold is :)
     

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