‘If he said something, you did not walk away’ - tributes paid to March Town legend Archie Tinkler

PUBLISHED: 18:21 28 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:21 28 April 2020

March Town legend Archie Tinkler both played and managed the Hares during his time at the club. Here he is going up for a header Picture: ARCHANT

March Town legend Archie Tinkler both played and managed the Hares during his time at the club. Here he is going up for a header Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A March Town FC legend who influenced the club both on and off the pitch has died.

A photo featured in the Cambs Times newspaper shows Archie Tinkler putting his players through their paces during a training session. Picture: ARCHANTA photo featured in the Cambs Times newspaper shows Archie Tinkler putting his players through their paces during a training session. Picture: ARCHANT

Archie Tinkler played and managed the Hares during his time at the GER, as well as going on trial at professional outfit Burnley and a brief spell at Fenland rivals Chatteris Town FC.

A popular defender in his playing days, Tinkler featured for March in the 1950s and 60s before managing them in a three-year spell.

Tinkler died earlier this month aged 86 after a battle with cancer, and some former players have been paying tribute.

Keith Bridgement joined March Town from March St Mary’s in the early 1960s while Tinkler was manager.

Archie Tinkler played and managed March Town FC during his time at the club. Here is the 1953-54 side that won the United Counties League as featured in the Cambs Times newspaper. From back left: Nat Brooksbank, Sam Malpass, Wally Price, George Ephgrave, Wally Beach, Syd Garratt. Front from left: Billy Dack, Spud Murphy, Oscar Hold, Ike Clark and Archie Tinkler. Picture: ARCHANTArchie Tinkler played and managed March Town FC during his time at the club. Here is the 1953-54 side that won the United Counties League as featured in the Cambs Times newspaper. From back left: Nat Brooksbank, Sam Malpass, Wally Price, George Ephgrave, Wally Beach, Syd Garratt. Front from left: Billy Dack, Spud Murphy, Oscar Hold, Ike Clark and Archie Tinkler. Picture: ARCHANT

Bridgement, 80, said: “He is probably one of the best I have played with at March Town.

“He was such a helpful bloke in training, He would not break sweat, he never put a lot into stuff, but when he got on the football field, he was a handful.

“As a man, I knew him, and I respected him. If he said something, you listened, you did not walk away.”

Tinkler, from Norwood Road, studied at the Hereward School before working as a plumber. He then married Enid, also from March, and moved to Caister-on-Sea after retiring from football.

Syd Dickinson, 85, played with the former Hares boss as a winger ahead of moves to the likes of King’s Lynn Town and Wisbech Town.

He said: “I first got to know Archie as a 15-year-old boy. He was a very nice person and a good player.”

A man who gained respect from his local club and the footballing community, as well as being a role model to those coming through the ranks.

Bridgement added: “He was so laid back and just let things happen. I got quite friendly with him; he used to travel with me when we went to places like Lowestoft and Sudbury.

“He was very down to earth. If he thought you were not playing very well, he would not hesitate to tell you.

“He was a gentle giant, he was not a dirty player, ever so good in the air, a good footballer and always helpful.

“He was March Town through and through. Archie was a gentleman and a good footballer. He helped me no end.”

A graveside funeral will be held tomorrow (April 29), where a celebration of his life will be held after the coronavirus lockdown has been lifted.

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