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Clevedon church relaunches football team after 90 years in honour of former player

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 December 2017

The current Christchurch Clevedon team.

The current Christchurch Clevedon team.

Contributed

A football club which helped to launch the career of one of Clevedon’s most ‘inspirational’ sportsmen has reformed after 90 years.

Doug Hand during his playing days. Doug Hand during his playing days.

Christchurch Clevedon has relaunched for the first time since the 1930s when Doug Hand began his playing career.

Doug, who died in 2013 aged 92, regularly attended the church in Chapel Hill and decided to start a football team there with members of the choir.

Now nine decades later, budding young footballers are following in his footsteps after the church entered an under-15s team in the Severn Valley Youth Football League.

Christchurch Clevedon has got off to a great start in the league, winning six out of nine matches.

Club manager Michael Pope said: “We are delighted to be doing this – the boys are amazing.

“I have spoken to Doug’s son Graham who told us his father always wanted to see a team playing again at Christchurch and we are delighted with how this is going.

“Doug was an inspiration to many people around Clevedon.

“We are now planning to have a cup named after him which will be presented as part of the end of season celebrations.

“He was a very special man who gave a lot to the community and this is our way of giving something back to the community too.”

Following his success with Christchurch, Doug moved on to represent Clevedon Town Football Club, scoring on his debut against Wells City.

He joined the RAF during World War Two when he was posted to Scotland and Iceland, but after the conflict emulated both his father and grandfather by becoming secretary and treasurer of Clevedon Town.

Doug stepped down from his final role as club president in 1995, bringing an end to almost 100 years of family service at Clevedon Town.

A testimonial match was also held in his honour and was attended by former England player Sir Stanley Matthews.

The club’s home ground in Davis Lane was called the Hand Stadium in 1992 as a tribute to the family, before it was renamed the Everyone Active Stadium last year.

Click here for more information on Christchurch Clevedon.

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