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Dulwich Hamlet mourning fan who saw 1930s legend Edgar Kail play

Bill Kirby Dulwich Hamlet

Dulwich Hamlet are mourning the passing of lifelong supporter Bill Kirby who saw club legend Edgar Kail play in his prime nearly a century ago.

The National League South club reported the death of the supporter, pictured, on Wednesday after learning of his passing 24 hours earlier at the age of 100.

Born after World War One, as a teenager the centenarian would have been among the thousands who flocked to see inside forward Kail in action in south London and all over the country during the 1930s.

BIRTHDAY BOY: Hamlet presenting their stalwart with a special shirt

BIRTHDAY BOY: Bill being presented with a special shirt

Kail, who was born in Camberwell in 1900, died in 1976 aged 75. He is the last Non-League footballer to play for the full England team and the approach to Hamlet’s Champion Hill home was renamed Edgar Kail Way in his honour in the 1990s. 

A club statement read: “The club is saddened to report that long time supporter Bill Kirby has passed on and we send our deepest sympathies to his family. Bill passed away yesterday after recently becoming unwell .

“He had supported the club since the 1930s and would have seen the legendary Edgar Kail in his prime as the club had its heyday between the wars.

“Bill was a regular fan both home and away, in good weather and bad, over many years and was often found at the front of the team coach directing the driver to difficult to locate away grounds.

“He recently celebrated his 100th birthday and was presented with a shirt to commemorate the occasion.Details of Bill’s funeral will be shared once the club is aware of arrangements.”

Hamlet have also released a recent interview with the late club stalwart as part of the tributes they are planning to mark his passing.

 

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is among the public figures who’ve been paying tribute to Mr Kirby alongside Hamlet’s fans and officials and others who knew him.

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Images courtesy of @DulwichHamletFC/Twitter

 

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