Death of Oswestry Town 'legend'

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Border Counties)

GERRY Broadhead, the man whose name more than anyone’s was synonymous with the old Oswestry Town Football Club, has died aged 82.

Gerry died in Shrewsbury Hospital on Monday, January 9, after being taken ill at the Uplands at Oxon Care Home in the county town, where he had been a resident for some time.

His wife Rita said: “I was with Gerry at Uplands for his birthday on December 22, our 60th wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve, and all day Christmas Day.”

A Yorkshireman by birth, Gerry came to Oswestry - as did so many of his generation - when he was called up to Park Hall Camp for National Service.

He made his debut for Oswestry Town as a 19-year-old in October 1954, and his last game for the Town was his third and final benefit match in May 1970.

Mike Clarke, the Oswestry Town historian, records Gerry as making a total of 720 appearances for the club.

A tough-tackling left back or half-back, he played a key role in the 1957-58 Birmingham League Division Two championship-winning side.

He won three Shropshire Senior Cup winners’ medals, all against Shrewsbury Town, and played in the big FA Cup games against Bournemouth and Southend United in the late 1950s. Another highlight was the Welsh Cup semi-final against Division One side Cardiff City at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground in 1956,

Gerry reputedly played in every position for the team – including in goal.

Mike Clarke said: “I was so sorry to hear Gerry had died. He was Mr Oswestry to us fans – always there to give his all for the club. It’s so sad to lose another hero of our youth.

“He was a hard player in what in those days were very physical competitions – no place for shrinking violets.”

Micky Ryan, who played alongside Gerry in the Town side, said he was “desperately sad” to hear of his old friend’s passing.

“I played with him in the Town team for about eight seasons,” said Micky. “He was a great player - strong and reliable.

“And off the field he was a really good bloke.”

The funeral service will be held at St Oswald’s Parish Church in Oswestry on Wednesday, January 25 at 2pm.

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