The average age of the Ex-Players Association membership has shot up in recent weeks, as John D Taylor explains...Ian Barkus signed up on December 11th – his 90th birthday. But he’s some way to go to overtake Harold Hillson, who celebrated his 95th on April 3rd. Both are active members, with Harold continuing to support Wycombe Wanderers on a regular basis. He’s gone a bit soft though - son Richard bringing him to enjoy the benefits of viewing the recent game against AFC Wimbledon from one of the club’s hospitality boxes.
Harold first played in 1941, making his debut as a 20-year-old alongside such established stars as Jock McCullum and 1931 Amateur Cup heroes Alf Britnell and Dickie Cox. He returned after the war and made nine more appearances at inside forward in the 1945-46 season, scoring his only goal in the 5-4 Isthmian League defeat at Woking.
Harold had a surprise when two of the Blues’ current squad – Luke O’Nien and Paris Cowan Hall – popped into see him before the Wimbledon game. Hard to believe that their debuts came 74 years on from his own. To complete Harold’s day, WWEPA members also attending the game - Keith Samuels, Vince Faulkner, Martin Priestley and Billy Gallacher - came along to watch chairman Alan Hutchinson present him with a prized membership tie.