Will Norris’s penalty-saving feats earlier in the season inspired some of us old toots to indulge in a delightful memory-fest, recalling great U’s keepers of old. There have been so many, from the Galician virtuosity of Tony Gallego and the Gallic cool of Lionel Perez to the Huntingdonshire brilliance of Rodney Slack.
One custodian’s star shone all too briefly at the Abbey, but its radiance will never be forgotten. Immensely brave and dazzlingly athletic, Trevor Roberts enthralled thousands of admirers during the club’s first two seasons in the Football League, and many a tear was shed when he died at the absurdly young age of 30.
The Caernarfon-born Welsh amateur international came up through the youth ranks at Liverpool while studying for a geography degree: his other great love was teaching. After 171 League games for Southend, Bill Leivers signed him on a free in 1970, and he played in our first ever League game: a 1-1 home draw with Lincoln. Keeping his hand in as a teacher, he worked at a local school in the afternoons.
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