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Robbie Lake

Robbie Lake

Jon Dean14 May - 22:41
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In Memoriam - Hoddesdon Town Pay Tribute

'Robbie will always be remembered with great fondness by the players of the time, he built up a great rapport with them and nothing was ever too much trouble...'
- Colin Sinden

Hoddesdon Town Football Club was today saddened to hear of the passing of Lilywhites fan Robbie Lake.

Rob was a keen footballer in his youth and played for West Ham and Leyton Orient Youth Teams. When he left full time football, he attended Agricultural College and worked on dairy farms run by his family. In later years he was a milkman and a coach driver.

In the mid-1980s and through the 90s, the Club was fortunate to enjoy the services of Smith's Coaches of Buntingford who provided a subsidised coach service for most of the Lilywhites away games. Robbie was one of the drivers who took the team away on a Saturday or in midweek, and some of the journeys were considerable, Harwich & Parkestone for instance, midweek!!

After a while it became clear that Robbie enjoyed his work with the team, and eventually he became the regular driver. He also became a great favourite with the players who would always reward his co-operation with a generous 'whip-round' as they arrived back home.

Robbie showed great tolerance with the lads, especially on the way home, and that led to a good story or two coming out of the trips.

Drinks were always a feature of the return trips, and that tended to lead to a need to have a 'comfort break' on the way home. On one occasion Robbie pulled into a lay-by on a busy road, the lads piled out of the coach to relieve themselves hidden near the rear of the coach, so Robbie pulled forward and put them all on display to the passing motorists!!

After a season or two the lads decided they also wanted to have something to eat on the journey back, so it became a tradition that a suitable fish and chip shop would be found. Most of the away clubs that were frequented had something suitable in the locality, and Robbie would always oblige with a pit-stop.

On one occasion, the pit-stop was a Chinese restaurant and the Lowfield groundsman Dick Cooper, who frequently went with the team, decided to sample the delights. Unfortunately for him the meal disagreed with him, he had to vomit into the toilet and in the process lost his false teeth!!

Robbie will always be remembered with great fondness by the players of the time, he built up a great rapport with them and nothing was ever too much trouble. Once he retired from driving early in the new millennium he filled his time by helping out a stump grinding contractor based in Royston. Whenever he came across someone associated with the Club, he would always ask after the team, and the former players he associated with, and would ask after the Committee members he also befriended.

Robbie was an unsung hero in those years he transported the team around the south of England, and he was sorely missed when the contract with Smith's came to an end. He was, without doubt, to the end, a very dedicated lifetime supporter of the Club, albeit from a distance.

Everybody at the club would like to extend their best wishes to Robbie's friends and family and we offer condolences to all who knew him.

There will be a minute’s silence in Rob’s memory at the start of the new season.

R.I.P Robbie Lake.

With thanks to Colin Sinden

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