Harry Boydell: 1929-2021

Harry Boydell

Prescot Cables Football Club is saddened to report that former player and club official, Harry Boydell, passed away recently at the age of 91.

Virtually everyone who has attended a home First Team match in recent years will have met Harry at least once; as the lynchpin of our Boardroom Hospitality Team, he was always on hand to offer a warm welcome to visitors and home fans alike.

Harry was born in Prescot on 10th March 1929 and his first matches were played for a local youth side run by his father, Prescot Celtic. Based at Brown’s Field, Celtic produced several exceptional players. In addition to Harry and his fellow Cables legend Harry Grisedale, future professionals Alan A’Court (Liverpool), Derek Hennin (Bolton Wanderers) and Bill Foulkes (Manchester United) all started with Prescot Celtic and the latter two would play against each other in the 1958 FA Cup Final.

Harry Boydell certainly had the talent to play professionally but was forced to choose between his apprenticeship as a painter and decorator or playing for Bolton Wanderers as an unpaid trainee. Understandably, Harry took the long-term view and left Wanderers, spending the following 18 months in Everton’s ‘A’ Team as a teenaged amateur.

Having signed professional forms with Cables at the age of 18, Harry scored a hat-trick on his debut, which saw Clitheroe beaten 7-2 at Hope Street. Harry would go on to be part of Cables’ Lancashire Combination Cup-winning team of 1948. During his National Service, Harry represented the RAF Command XI – the Air Force Representative Team in Germany, for whom he scored 28 goals in 13 matches. When home on leave, Harry would turn out for Cables and he was invited for a trial with Preston North End, which he was unable to attend due to his RAF commitments.

After returning from National Service, Harry joined South Liverpool, for whom he played for seven years, scoring 98 goals in 249 appearances. During this period, Harry married his childhood sweetheart, Agnes Finney. Being able to earn good money as a qualified painter and decorator and from his talent for football enabled Harry and Agnes to buy a house in St James’ Road. Harry’s playing career ended at the age of 32, after an untreated stress fracture sustained during his time at Everton curtailed a spell at New Brighton.

Harry and Agnes had a daughter, Karen, and two grandsons – Lewis and Matthew. A lifelong Prescotian, Harry gave his time and energy to his hometown club and made a contribution as a volunteer every bit as significant as his efforts as a player. He was held in the highest esteem by everyone at the club and will be deeply missed.

Everyone at the club would like to send our heartfelt condolences to Harry’s family and friends at this sad and difficult time. Funeral details will be circulated as appropriate once they become available.

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