Sad loss of a football legend

Anthony Jennings.
Anthony Jennings.

A talented football player who spent his life playing the game he loved has died aged 64.

A lightning left-winger, Anthony Jennings rose to the top of the amateur game, playing for Ossett Albion and Ossett Town in his prime.

Born in Batley Maternity Unit in August 1950 to Oliver and Agnes Jennings, he spent the fist three years of his life in Navigation Street, Thornhill Lees, before the family moved to Overthorpe Road.

His dream was always to become a professional footballer and he had the potential. The young player had trials for Hull City, but his hopes were dashed following serious leg injuries during a kickabout in Rectory Park aged 15. Doctors told him he would never play again but he battled back to fitness and was still playing competitively well into his 50s.

He started his career at Thornhill Edge and played for most of the teams in the area, including Fearnsides and Flatts United.

Mr Jennings went to St Paulinus Infants and St John Fisher Catholic High School before becoming a HGV technician, a career which he worked in throughout his life.

In his later years he became heavily involved with Overthorpe Sports Club, as a player, trainer, first-aider, coach, manager and club secretary. He was hugely respected there, helping to secure funding for a new pitch. His brother, Edward, said: “He was loved by everyone that played with him and everyone that played for him. It is a sad loss to all his family, friends and the wider football community.”

Husband to Lynda, they had four children – Jason, Jayne, Emma and Anthony. He also leaves four grandchildren – Harry, Molly, Olivia and Joe.

Mr Jennings died in the family home in Overthorpe Road of a heart attack on Saturday morning. His funeral takes place on Friday October 31 at St Paulinus Catholic Church, Dewsbury, 10am. Donations will be given to Overthorpe Sports Club’s junior football development.