All at Cheshunt Football Club were saddened to hear our former Vice-Chairman, John Poole, had recently passed away.
A talented player in his youth (he appeared for his local side Leyton), John moved to Waltham Cross after getting married where he relocated his packaging Company and concentrated his football efforts onto his young son, John junior.
On Tottenham’s books as a schoolboy, John junior was offered amateur forms rather than an apprenticeship when turning 16 and turned them down. Roy Bailey was quick to hear this and recommended Cheshunt Manager Les Picking quickly sign him.
Coming along to see his young son make his debut against Baldock in December 1969, John was soon brought onboard the Committee by his old friend, Vice-Chairman Albert Hemmings. Then, in the summer of 1972, long-time Chairman Frank Davis stepped down leaving Hemmings to become Chairman and John Poole to become Vice-Chairman. One of their first changes was the appointment of John Drabwell as Manager early in the 1972/73 season. The new Boss found himself faced with a first round tie in the Amateur Cup away to the then Non-league giants, Wycombe Wanderers. An early goal by John Poole junior put the Ambers into a shock lead and from then until the final whistle the Cheshunt goal was under siege but somehow the Athenian league minnows held out and gained national headlines with their stunning 1-0 win.
John loved to tell the story of the Wycombe Boardroom after the final whistle… a furious Wycombe Chairman stormed up to Poole and Hemmings shouting “do you know what you’ve done? This is the last year of the Amateur Cup and WE were supposed to win it. Your Club has ruined everything!” Faced with this appalling display of arrogance, they turned and left, telling the players to get straight onto the coach back to Cheshunt.
The 1970’s were some of the most successful seasons Cheshunt have ever enjoyed, lifting the East Anglian Cup, the London Charity Cup and winning the Athenian league and Cup double in 1976. John Poole was a key member of the Club Committee at that time and it is no coincidence that while he was Vice-Chairman, the silverware piled up!
After leaving the Committee in the 1980s, John would still attend Cheshunt games and touchingly, he was brought back to the ground only a few months ago where he reminisced about his time there.
Our thoughts are with the Poole family at this sad time.