MICK Brady, the man who saved Leamington FC, passed away last week, writes former Observer editor Ian Hughes.
All looked lost after the club’s ground The Windmill on Tachbrook Road was sold by owners Automotive Products to housing developers AC Lloyd in the 1980s. Brakes continued at their long-time home until the end of the 1987/88 season.
With no ground, the decision was made to mothball the club until a new home could be found. It could have spelled the end for a club founded in 1891, and which had made a major mark in non league football down the years.
Had it not been for the never-say-day attitude of ‘Sir Mick’ – as he was fondly known by fans – the club may never have kicked a ball again.
But after many years in the wilderness Brakes returned to the pitch with a new home – The New Windmill on Harbury Lane – in 2000.
It was the tenacity of Mick Brady, aided by David Hucker, which saw Leamington FC rise from the ashes and climb back up the non league pyramid during the 21st century.
Mick, the club’s life president, was a good friend of my father – the late former Courier Sports Editor Doug Hughes. I did not know Mick as well as my father, but would always stop and chat whenever I met him. He struck me as a modest man, but as previously stated he was clearly a tenacious man, one who was not prepared to see Leamington FC become a footnote in football’s history.
That Brakes are adding further chapters to their long and proud history is down to the efforts of Mick, something which will never be forgotten by football fans in the town.