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Lymington Town Football Club stalwart Norman Gannaway dies aged 92





NORMAN Gannaway, a stalwart of Lymington Town Football Club who played his last match in his seventies, has died aged 92.

A much-loved life member of the club for 80 years, Norman was a sports historian, writer, librarian and magistrate.

He was a member of Lymington Cricket Club too and a former head of Lawrence Boys Club, now known as Lawrence Boxing Club.

Norman Gannaway (61693964)
Norman Gannaway (61693964)
Norman Gannaway (61693978)
Norman Gannaway (61693978)

He was born in Stanford Row in the town, the second of five children of Christopher and Mary Ellen Gannaway (née Harvey).

The family moved to Captains Row, which was then known as South Street, when Norman was three. Due to a lack of electricity, he would read his cherished books by candle light.

His teacher, also a secretary of Lymington Cricket Club, introduced 11-year-old Norman to the game, and he later became secretary, president and umpire. He wrote the club’s 175-year history in 1982.

Norman lived with his parents until he married Evelyn Everard when he was aged 31. He had met Evelyn, the daughter of district librarian Leslie Everard, through his role as assistant librarian at the new Lymington library in Cannon Street.

Norman Gannaway and wife Evelyn
Norman Gannaway and wife Evelyn

During national service he had asked to be posted to the Far East – but only made it to RAF Calshot.

Norman Gannaway during national service in 1950
Norman Gannaway during national service in 1950

He enjoyed his time in the RAF, including a month on a navy destroyer where he passed many hours on the vegetable deck writing rather than peeling potatoes.

Norman also spent 12 years in Ringwood as branch librarian from 1962. In total, he worked for Hampshire library service for 43 years, sitting his library exams through home study.

During this time, Norman would regularly share his love of books with BBC Radio Solent listeners.

Although Norman was involved with many sports and other clubs over the years, football was his passion. His involvement with Lymington Town FC lasted 80 years and he played his last match as a veteran in his seventies.

An active committee member, Norman wrote the club’s history in 1984.

Norman Gannaway was a member of Lymington Cricket Club
Norman Gannaway was a member of Lymington Cricket Club

In the club’s commemorative publication for Norman’s 90th birthday, members detailed how his unwavering support had inspired them on and off the pitch. Many also told of his legendary storytelling in the clubhouse.

Norman has also been a player for Boldre Lads and Bisterne Reserves, as well as a historian for Southampton FC.

Norman Gannaway also played for Boldre Lads in the late 1940s / early1950s
Norman Gannaway also played for Boldre Lads in the late 1940s / early1950s

Norman was a prolific writer, penning more than 20 local sports history books and biographies.

Norman Gannaway (61693851)
Norman Gannaway (61693851)

He was a match reporter and columnist for Lymington football and cricket clubs under the pseudonym Spectator. He also wrote short stories and more than one novel.

For nearly 30 years Norman also sat as a magistrate: first at Ringwood and then with the New Forest Magistrates’ Court in Lyndhurst.

He was a regular parishioner at St Mark’s in Pennington and more latterly at St Thomas’s in Lymington.

Norman is survived by his wife Evelyn, two daughters, two sisters and four grandchildren, all of whom between them share his love of books, writing, football and sport.

Norman Gannaway and wife Evelyn
Norman Gannaway and wife Evelyn

A service of thanksgiving will be held on 20th January at 3pm at St Thomas’s Church.

In lieu of flowers, his family have requested donations to benefit the New Forest Basics Bank via F.W. House & Sons in Lymington or www.basicsbank.org.uk



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