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Lord Football

Blues on Tour
Dec 18, 2004
Sunny Southend on Sea
Today Southend have Alf Smith as guest of honour. I know Alf because he is the grandfather of my best mate. He is also one of the few people on the planet who when he speaks, I shut up.

His story is incredible and he tells it an understated way. He spent his 21st birthday on a beach in Northern France. Dunkirk to be exact. Its only when you hear it first hand do you realise the horror of it. Just waiting on the beach for a boat or a bullet. He lost many friends.

It wasn't the only day he spent on a French beach. He went back several years later on D Day. Again, he lost many friends as he stormed the beach.

Once in France he had various other "scrapes with Jerry" and has had more near death experiences than anyone else I know.

He still relays his story at various speaking events. He is the very last of those who survived both Dunkirk and D Day. He is 97 now.

He may just look like an man walking around a stadium today, but he isn't....... and the above is why he is their very special guest.
Total Respect !! I am sure he will be received with genuine gratitude and admiration, Well done Alf
Good to see the club doing this for someone who really deserves recognition, hope he has a great day.
Thanks KF for the info.
WOW. We can only half imagine what it was like to have machine gun bullets whistle past, bombs with shrapnel exploding close by, and the horrors and sights of war he has seen. We call many people in TV, life and sport a legend, or put them on a pedestal, but Alf Smith, hold your head up high and walk proud, you really are right up the top, a true unsung hero.

On a similar note, here's Voormezeele Enclosure 3 near Ypres. It's a small war grave.
Many just had "A soldier" engraved, one had "Four soldiers".
Get him in the dressing room before the game , might inspire our team to show some courage and effort .