A SPECIAL football match was played at Lydbrook last Saturday to honour a very special man.

Jim Matthews has been a key figure off the pitch at the club for 55 years and so a one-off edition of his favourite fixture – against Broadwell – was played.

Lydbrook Reserves team manager Keith Wilks, who introduced the afternoon’s entertainment, said: “It’s safe to say it wouldn’t be Lydbrook without Jimmy – everything’s that’s good about Lydbrook is Jimmy and that’s what makes today extra special.

“He’d be driving the football bus, he’d be doing fish and chips, collecting up plates

“Jim would do whatever it took for Lydbrook on match days or in his spare time.

It’s only right for us to put this on today for Jim because one of Jim’s favourite fixtures when he came to football and he was leaning on the fence would be Lydbrook against Broadwell

“It’s a shame we haven’t be able to hold that fixture more often in recent years but that’s what makes today so special.”

Turning to the teams he said:  “I’d like you boys to put on the best game you can today. Firm but fair and give him a day you can remember.”

Jim was presented with  a new Lydbrook FC scarf and a framed Lydbrook shirt with his name on which will hang in the changing room at Stowfield.

It was 1969 when Jim looked out of his bedroom window after a long drive from the North East and he saw white lines being painted on the pitch.

“I’d brought a lorry back from Scotch Corner (near Darlington) which didn’t have a cab and I saw (them) painting white lines on the pitch.

“I thought I’d go and give them a hand and I’ve been here ever since.”

Broadwell won the game 3-2.

Keith Wilks with the specially-made shirt.
(© Forest Review)
The Lydbrook team
The Lydbrook team (© Forest Review)
The Broadwell team.
The Broadwell team. (© Forest Review)
Action from the game. Photo: Steve Cassidy.
Action from the game (© Steve Cassidy)