New book remembers the famous Arsenal and England footballer Eddie Hapgood who lived in Leamington in his last days

Eddie Hapgood Footballer From Beyond the Touchline was written by his daughter Lynne, who held a launch event for it in the town on Sunday (April 3)

Dr Lynne Hapgood launched her book about her father, the former Arsenal and England football captain Eddie Hapgood, at an event in Leamington.
Dr Lynne Hapgood launched her book about her father, the former Arsenal and England football captain Eddie Hapgood, at an event in Leamington.

A new book about a famous Arsenal and England footballer who lived his final days in Leamington has been published.

Eddie Hapgood Footballer From Beyond the Touchline was written by his daughter Dr Lynne Hapgood.

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It tells the story of Eddie as a young player from Bristol who became Arsenal and England captain and a national hero in the dark days of the 1930s.

Dr Lynne Hapgood launched her book about her father, the former Arsenal and England football captain Eddie Hapgood, at an event in Leamington.

Lynne, who lives in Leamington and had a career as an academic researcher before she retired in 2008, said: “His impact is so enduring that when the Millennium dawned, the public still voted him one of the greatest sportsmen of the century.

“But the book also asks ‘what is greatness?’.

"My father was a great footballer but it was his remarkable leadership, his unfailing integrity and his public fight for justice that meant fans never forgot him and historians have fixed him forever in sporting histories, famous tales and all.”

Dr Lynne Hapgood launches the book with help from former Leamington mayor Alan Wilkinson.

Before these days of modern multi-millionaire footballing megastars, Eddie was a sporting hero in his own right.

Born in Bristol in 1908 as the ninth of ten children, he worked as a milkman from the age of 14 , which was school leaving age at the time, playing football in the junior leagues.

At 18 he started playing for Kettering Town FC at a level just below the Football League.

A year later he signed for Arsenal.

He played almost 400 games for Arsenal between 1927 and 1944 and was capped 30 times for England between 1933 and 1939.

Eddie’s playing career was sadly cut short when he was just 30 due to the outbreak of the Second World War but he went in to management at Blackburn Rovers, Watford and Bath City.

Lynne’s book, which she launched at the Pump Rooms in Leamington on Sunday (April 3), is available at Waterstones in Leamington or by visiting https://amzn.to/3x3eK8k

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