I had an e-mail recently from John Hodgkins who discovered a website about the late Eddie Lever, the former Pompey manager and local school teacher. He was also credited with discovering Jimmy Dickinson.
John sent an e-mail to Eddie’s nephew Martin who runs the website and he sent it on to me.
He says: ‘I first met Eddie in 1960 when I was 11. I played for Riders Lane Junior School football team in Leigh Park and won the local schools cup final at Oak Park Secondary School in Havant,
‘I was in the enviable position of being captain of the team and was presented with the cup by your uncle Eddie. I didn’t really appreciate who he was at the time but my parents, being keen Pompey supporters, soon put me in the picture.
‘If that was not a big enough thrill, just months after that game I started secondary school at Oak Park in Leigh Road, Havant, and when I reported to my first form classroom who was there to greet us? None other than Eddie Lever. I couldn’t believe it and then couldn’t wait to get home to tell my parents.
‘As well as being my maths and form teacher for that first year, Eddie was also year 1 football coach/manager and we succeeded in a clean sweep of all the trophies up for grabs.
‘I’ll always be grateful to Eddie for teaching me not only maths but the basics and more football know-how and skills. He was a true gent.’
A lovely testament to a much-liked local teacher who hailed from the north-east of England.
There must be hundreds of local lads who were taught by Eddie and any memories of him would be appreciated.