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John Stephens RIP

1 year ago By Mishi Morath

All at Champion Hill were saddened to hear of the recent passing of one of our oldest fans last week.

John Stephens, pictured here with his son Cliff, was 88-years-old, and one of the last Hamlet fans still with us who could proudly say he saw our boys in Pink & blue lift the old FA Amateur Cup, having been present as a young boy at the final on Saturday 3rd April 1937, which was held at Upton Park, the old home of West Ham United, then commonly known as the Boleyn Ground. This was our last ever Amateur Cup win, defeating Leyton by two goals to nil.

You may recall there was an article on him a few editions ago in the 'Hamlet Historian' magazine, which you can read by CLICKING THIS TRIBUTE HERE

It's almost unthinkable that someone could have watched The Hamlet for so long, with his first ever match being the opening home game of the 1935/36 season! Despite failing health in his later years, John was still an occasional visitor to Champion Hill, managed to get to several matches last season, with his boy Cliff, in spite of the long trek from their home down in Hampshire, residing in Andover.

In fact until he moved out of London in the 1960's John was a regular on the old cinder terraces, with his favourite player being the legendary Tommy Jover. He was fortunate enough to have been at several matches from yesteryear, that have become 'folklore'; including the match against the barefooted Nigerians in 1949, when over 18,000 people packed into Champion Hill. He was also in the crowd at our biggest post-War attended match, when there were over 27,000 present at Stamford Bridge for the South London derby with Corinthian-Casuals in the Amateur Cup semi-final, which we unfortunately lost 3-1; with a reputed fifty supporters' coaches leaving from Champion Hill, buses lining up both sides of Dog Kennel Hill, with many thousands more making their own way by car, bicycle, ordinary bus and underground trains.

Both of them, as well as supporting Dulwich Hamlet, were also lifelong fans of our neighbouring professionals Millwall, and there will be many friends who will also miss him there.

On his 'final journey' John shall be bedecked in his beloved Pink & Blue Dulwich Hamlet scarf.

To Cliff, their immediate family, and everyone who knew John at Champion Hill, may we offer our deepest sympathies from all at Champion Hill...players, management, officials and supporters alike.

Updated 13:09 - 16 Aug 2017 by Mishi Morath

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