Les Abbott, universally known as “Abbo”

? – 2011

Lifelong friends with Les Brown (aka “Brownie”) and Eddie Skillbeck. They went to junior school together and all played in the same Wetherby Athletic football team. In his younger days he was one of the finest soccer players to be born and bred in Wetherby. He had several trials with professional football clubs but was unable to take up the offers as he could not afford the travel involved. His football career was spent with Wetherby Athletic. In the 1968-9 season Wetherby Athletic won the league and also 4 cups. A feat never equalled since. Abbo was the dynamo; the engine room that drove that team.

Beside Hallfields Lane was Wrigglesworth’s Field, before it became the Lorry Park and now the Cluster of Nuts Car Park. This was the venue for, what Brownie describes as, “Uncle Tom’s Bible Bashing Circus”. A huge tent was erected and an old harmonium was set up. The one song that they all remember was “I met Jesus at the crossroads”. He worked for Les Matthews building firm as a joiner and was Bill Gray’s apprentice. Les Matthews was known to all his workers as ‘Mackie’. The joiners shop was in Bank Street, where the Muse Bar is now, and Mackie used to check that his workers arrived for work on time. Anyone who was late was sent home and lost a whole days pay!

Later when Abbo worked for Norman C Ashton Builders he was the first joiner in Wetherby to earn £100 per week. His greatest passion was for cups of tea.  After his retirement he joined the “Old Men’s Parliament” where he endured good natured ribbing over the number of mugs of tea he drank. He was bought his own special oversized mug, bearing the legend “I love tea”. Even though his mug was twice the size, he still drank twice as many mugful’s as everybody else! So he was put in charge of filling the kettle.

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