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Hullbridge Village History

Anthony Fautley.(1940-1996 )

By Gary Congram 2009

On 6th Feb 1996 aged 56 Tony Fautley one of Hullbridge Sports best loved footballers sadly passed away.
I first met Tony when Jeff Livesey and I were invited to go to the "Rec" and join in the football training with the Hullbridge Sports Football Team. It was a warm summer evening and after all the introductions and the placing of goals we started playing football, and straight from the off Tony was laughing and joking and bouncing us of the ball. Tony wasn't massive in fact he was about 5' 6" and a little paunchy, but to us two twigs, well we did not stand a chance, to make matters worse he was not slow, quite the contrary. Nothing made him laugh more than when he would "nutmeg" us (pass the ball between our legs and collect it behind us) and on the way past us give us a nudge to send us sprawling. There were many times he would do so but then find himself, unless in front of goal, incompassitated due to his own laughter. The banter between him and I was terrific, he being a "'Ammers" fan and me being a "Gooner" it was always based around our favourite team, he would say something like "You're just like all Arsenal fans shooting blanks!" and I would reply "and your just like West Ham fans full of gas which is why they keep blowing bubbles out of their "A***s." A number of times he would run up to me and let rip a fart which would stop me in my tracks and then he would run off with the ball giggling whilst I ran in the opposite direction, goodness knows what he use to eat. I can still picture him today as I write this, and it still brings a big smile to my face as I see him laughing away.

Being very competitive there were times when we would end up chasing each other all over "Rec.," trying to get the ball off each other, not much fun for the others as they looked on. The competition between us did not stop at football, both of us were pretty good all round sportsmen, especially at darts, pool, snooker and dancing. Many nights after training up at the "Country Club or up at Sports Ground we would be battling each other on the darts board or Pool Table.

There were a few nights when my family and I went round to Tony and Maureen's and played snooker in his living room, their three children Dianne, Linda and Russell joining in the pranks and fun, although they were quite small especially Russ.,

I am sure many people who went to the Sports Club or Parents Teachers Association dances can remember him dancing, or should I say stripping, he just loved wiggling his hips and bum ! I can still see him dancing with mum at mum and dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary at Clements Hall and being bare chested with belt undone and trousers falling below his hips, it was so funny !
But that was Tony he loved to laugh and make people laugh even if it meant making a fool of himself.

He was very generous and kind, he helped Maggie and I along with Colin and Keith Chart and dad to move house from our flat in St Johns Wood to our new home in South Avenue. He also fitted our kitchen for us, saving us a lot of money and doing a very professional job to boot. He managed to find work in the maintenance dept., with an Australian Bank up in the city and we met several times in the Deacons pub in Walbrook and had a drink, laugh and a bit of grub. During the train strikes Tony, Colin Chart and myself would meet up and cadge a lift on mum's "Nat West" coach that they had laid on for their staff. When the sports ground was bought he was one of the stalwarts that helped put it all together, Maureen and the kids must have been well fed up with him going missing.

Tony I still miss you today. I loved going down the Rec., I could not wait to get home from work and get down there to play with or against you, you made it so much fun !
I miss your broad smile, wonderful personality, and pranks.
Thank you for looking after me and giving me good advice. God Bless !"