Tributes paid to Hastings sporting all-rounder Alf

Alf  Pratt, who has died aged 93, will be well remembered by Hastings' sporting fraternity.

Alf in recent times
Alf in recent times

He played for Romford Town before coming to Hastings with his young family in the early 50s after being offered work as a summer season bus conductor.

It was his performances for the Maidstone and District Brook Street Depot team which convinced the local inspector that Alf needed to be kept on the permanent staff.

Victories against the great rivals the Postley Works were a great prize in those days.

Alf Pratt in his running heyday

Alf moved to Chambers Crescent in St Leonard’s, grateful for the opportunity this post-war housing offered for him and his beloved wife Mary to have a family home together with their three children, David, Miles and Clive. He lived there for over 60 years and he was the last of the original residents of the crescent who all raised families there.

After 10 years as a conductor and driver with the Maidstone Bus Company, Alf joined Seeboard as part of their vehicle maintenance team and immediately became an active member of their highly successful footballing set-up.

Some readers will remember their winning the then Hastings and Eastbourne league a number of times in the 70s. During these years he completed the Orpington to Hastings walk. Alf played for Catsfield FC and hung up his boots for the last time at the age of 54, going on to support them from the touchline for many years.

Alf turned his attention to running and became a member of Hastings Runners. He completed the Hastings Half Marathon many times and continued running until he was 74.

Alf led a quiet life after the death of his son Clive and the loss of his wife Mary but there are many who will remember him flying down the wing or making steady progress as a Hastings Runner.

Alf was full of love for his family and was adored by them in turn. He leaves behind a lifetime of memories for his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to cherish and will be very much missed.

Alf’s funeral will be at Hastings Crematorium on Wednesday, October 13, at 1.15pm followed by a wake at the Royal Victoria Hotel. All are welcome. Family flowers only, donations to St Michael’s Hospice.