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Les Walters

Les was probably the greatest servant of Tooting & Mitcham United. He played for the club from season’s 1947/48 to 1957/58, when he retired and joined the coaching staff. In the 1959/60 campaign he came out of retirement in the club’s hour of need, to play one game, as the Terrors had an injury crisis. The match was a top of the table clash against local rivals Wimbledon at Sandy Lane in the Isthmian League. Les had a good game and Tooting ran out 4-1 winners and went on to lift the Isthmian League Championship, which at the time was the top Amateur League in the country, together with the Northern League. Les would go on to play around 350 games for the club, it would have been more, but the leagues were smaller in those days.

He was an outstanding centre half and scored six times, including some from the penalty spot. He also won two Athenian League titles with us, plus the London Senior Cup and Surrey Senior Cup. He also played in our FA Cup proper ties against Millwall, Brighton & Hove Albion and Queens Park Rangers, and played for Arsenal versus Oxford University in November 1947 as an amateur. When his playing and coaching days were over, he went on to the General Club Committee and eventually became Club Chairman. He was also a useful cricketer and a local lad.

On a personal note, my family knew Les very well, as my late father Geoff Bullock went to school with him at Streatham Grammar. Back in the late 1960’s, Les knew I was interested in the club history and lent me his scrapbooks, so I could photocopy any items I wanted from them. In the 1970’s he introduced a pools scheme to bring much needed revenue into the club, the tickets were dropped off at my parent’s house each week and he would collect them and pass them onto the collectors to distribute. I myself had several rounds as a collector in Mitcham and Streatham and enjoyed knocking on people’s doors to bring funds into the club. Summing up, Les Walters was a great man, who did so much for his beloved Tooting & Mitcham over the years.

Article written by Ian Bullock TMUFC Members Club Vice President

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