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William Westwood: Cup Mystery, Part Three!

Second from right back row is William Westwood.

18 May 2018

Today we bring you the third article regarding William Westwood and the trophy presented to him back in 1910.

On Wednesday we gave brief details of his Rovers career, today we learn something of his life away from football.

It is, perhaps, worth noting that while living in Bristol he lodged with team-mate David Harvie at Ernest and Rhoda Miller's house at 38 Colston Road, Easton, Bristol.

William enlisted in Strenshall, Yorkshire, into the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry as #241454 Corporal William Howell Powell Westwood.

Sadly, on 3rd May 1917, William was killed in action and his personal effects were given to his children.

This is an extract from a letter written by William's granddaughter, Beryl Kemp, who has kindly donated the cup given to William back in 1910; 'My mother told me that all of those enlisting at the same time as my Grandad were asked what they did in civilian life.

'Because he was a footballer he was also a good runner and that was why he was put in the position of using grenades.

'She had heard he was in the line of fire from a grenade attack when he died and all that had been returned to the family was a photograph in his breast pocket and a button from his uniform.'

'My Mum clung to this memory and she was very proud of him. That is why the cup meant such a lot to her, it was all she had.

'I promised her I would never sell it, but giving it back to the club he played for seems so much better than having it in a box that no one ever sees.

'It may inspire a youngster with a sense of history and we feel that would be a wonderful tribute to a footballer who gave his life in the line of duty.'

We are sure there is more to William's story and about that game against Aston Villa and we hope to discover more in the coming weeks…with your help! Please get in touch if you can shed any light on the matter.

Beryl and her husband, by the way, are planning to take in a game at The Mem next season and it would be nice to have some more information to give them when they pay us a visit!


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