Tribute by Johnnie Walker
In memory of his service to our league
This article is by way of a tribute to Albert Daniels. Our Albert passed away many years ago but those of us that knew him have not forgotten him and the great devotion and time he gave to the League.
Albert wasn’t a senior Officer of the League, but he was one of the Management Committee for many years and as such he performed many helpful duties above his remit, for instance, he was always available for a discipline hearing and all kinds of business that would crop up like disputes about teams playing ringers, although dear Albert, not wishing to offend anyone would wind up with a few splinters on his backside by sitting on the proverbial fence.
In the many years that I knew him, l can’t recall him missing many meetings, he was there same time on the dot every Tuesday evening, whether we had business to deal with or not, he just seemed that he liked the company of the rest of us, Alec, Jack, Ted, Macca, Kevin and myself, and in those days we were part of the furniture too.
Although getting on in years, Albert also managed to be on duty at the Marshes every Sunday, whilst some of us were on duty managing our league games on the East Marsh, Albert volunteered to organise our games at the other venues. This was a great help to the League for Albert coped as well as anyone with the problems that we all know crop up regularly and the clubs always trusted him to sort things out because I don’t know of a case when we had any complaints to deal with.
I have mentioned that Albert was getting on in years, but to look at him you wouldn’t have guessed it, he had very boyish features and I think he worked on into his seventies. He was a long distance driver who lived in Hoxton and often come straight to our meetings after a tiring days work. I got to know him when I first came back to the Hackney & Leyton League as a player with MG Sports after some years playing in the London Sunday League, our headquarters at the time at that time was another working man’s Club called Hackney Volunteers, and Albert used to sit with my Club Secretary and me having a couple of beers until he was called away to sit at a table with a few geezers l barely knew.
Obviously I got to know him better after those early encounters, and I learnt that he was involved in Management Committee affairs of which I was later to become involved in. However Albert was also the Secretary of Hoxton FC and being as he lived in Hoxton it was only right that he had a leading role in running that particular club, and what a football club they turned out to be when Alec Pretlove, the League’s Chairman at the time, took over as Manager and with a few new players they went on to win many of the Leagues Senior trophies, but in spite of much success Albert was never boastful about his input in running the club, he retained his modest ways and stayed in the background, but you could bet your last penny that he would be at the Marshes every Sunday morning watching and helping to run his beloved Hoxton FC.
Albert was also a long standing Arsenal supporter, of course he would be as he lived within walking distance to the old Highbury Stadium, and he was amongst friends because there was no shortage of Arsenal supporters who loved the ‘Gooners’ and they also chiefly made up the Hackney & Leyton Committee. You could bet your life that if you lived anywhere in that area or near it, then you were most likely to be a ‘Gooner’ and Albert was one amongst us, there was Alec, Ted, Macca, Jack, and me, that is until a another infiltrator, Jermaine, who supported Spurs came on the Committee and gave Kevin Doolan a bit of company. Of course as supporters of the 2 North East clubs there was frequent arguments between us, but I can’t ever remember Albert even raising his voice.