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In Memoriam: Tony Roberts

25 April 2021

Scunthorpe United is saddened to learn of the passing of former player Tony Roberts, aged 74.

Born in Misterton, near Gainsborough, he moved to Ashby at the age of two and later became an amateur on the books of the club, while studying at Frederick Gough School.

He made the side's reserve team as an amateur as early as 15-years-old and impressed sufficiently to be called up to train with the England Youth squad in October 1962. It wouldn't be until 1963-64 when he officially represented his country in the Youth Amateur International Championships, although he had featured in some FA Colts XI fixtures prior to this achievement.

One cap did follow against Wales, while he was an unused substitute on two other occasions. A broken leg would then prevent him for playng for England Grammar Schools in 1965, with the unfortunate injury coming at a County Schools National Festival in Easter.

As the season drew to a close, Tony would be offered a professional contract by manager Freddie Goodwin, but that offer was rejected as he wanted to continue his studies to become a full-time teacher, a motive that he definitely achieved a full and prosperous career in.

After leaving the club, he would play for a decade as a semi-professional footballer for a handful of clubs in the capital. They included Kingstonian, St Albans and Hayes - the latter at which he played in a 1-0 giant-killing over Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup. They'd draw 0-0 with Reading in the next round before bowing out by the odd goal in the replay.

In teaching, he would progress a career in London before one academic year back in Scunthorpe at Brumby School before returning to the capital in 1969.

Nine years later, he would relocate to Cornwall to teach Physical Education and French. He would feature for the Cornwall County FA, also becoming a Lead Coach and Mentor there for a number of years, and was also player-manager for Truro City while in the area.

In recent years, Tony had battled hard after being diagnosed with vascular dementia, before sadly losing that battle in a care home with his beloved Maggie by his side.

The thoughts and condolences of everyone at the club are with Tony's family and friends.

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