Well known Thanet sportsman Lennie Long has died at the age of 88.
Lennie, from Broadstairs, passed away at QEQM Hospital on Thursday 1st June.
From a young age Lennie was gifted at sports and played both football – as a goalkeeper- and cricket for local boys’ teams. He went on to Captain Margate Cricket Club and play for Margate Football Club and other southern league clubs.
Lennie made 19 appearances for the Margate first team across four spells with the club between 1956 and 1968.
In a different era to today, he could have played for Kent Cricket Club but his parents were unable to afford his travel fares to Canterbury on a long-term basis.
Lennie was a carpenter and turned down the chance to play for Arsenal as he earned more money from his woodworking trade.
He had been the goalie for Ipswich when Alf Ramsey was the manager. Alf went on to manage the 1966 England World Cup winning team. Prior to that Lennie had a trial for Chelsea.
In his middle years Lennie began playing golf at North Foreland Golf Club and this became his abiding passion. He soon became a single figure handicap and won many trophies with name on many a cup and competition board at the golf club.
Even in his 80s Lennie was still recognised by locals when he went out and they would often say hello.
Lennie enjoyed golf well into his 80s until ill health stopped him playing to a his exacting standard. He made many friends at North Foreland and his partner of almost 30 years Pauline Warrington has received many messages and tributes which has been comforting to her and his four children.
Pauline said: “He had a great sense of humour and was a kind honest man but didn’t suffer fools. I shall miss our laughs and our love.”
Funeral details are to be confirmed by Gore Brothers.