Congleton Town Cope With Fred Faux Pas!
The incredible story of how one club’s tribute backfired…
Just over twenty years ago, in February 1993, Congleton Town FC were due to celebrate the life of their longest serving fan, eighty five year old Fred Cope. The programme editor back then, Chris Phillips, was about to begin distributing the matchday programme when he was informed of Mr Cope’s sad passing. As it was such short notice, Mr Phillips rattled off a quick obituary, which he then proceeded to staple into the programme. He also informed the match officials of the club’s desire to observe the traditional minute’s silence prior to kickoff.
As it turns out, Mr Cope had not passed away, and he strolled into the ground just as the players were forming a circle around the centre circle for his tribute! In order to avoid embarrassment, Mr Phillips hurriedly announced that the minute’s silence was in fact for Sir Bobby Moore, the World Cup winning England captain, who had died a few days before.
In Mr Cope’s own words, he said he “wondered why I got some funny looks as I arrived at Booth Street. It wasn’t until I saw the programme that I realised why! I’ve been bad over the last week, but not that bad!”
The day had a happy outcome, though, in more ways than one. Not only was their oldest fan still alive and well, he also won ten pounds and a bottle of whiskey in the half time draw!