Charles Mortimore: A true footballing legend

ATTACHING the term legend to a footballer is an easily overused habit in these days of ridiculously inflated wages and non-existent player loyalty to a club, writes Mark Doyle.

But when it comes to Woking FC, one name keeps recurring when the word legend is mentioned.

12 April 1958: A triumphant Charlie Mortimore holds aloft the FA Amateur Cup after leading Woking to a 3-0 victory over Ilford at Wembley Stadium on his 30th birthday

That name is Charles (Charlie) Mortimore MBE, who died last week. He was 91.

In what was to be the most noteworthy event in the club’s history since the FA Cup tie against Bolton Wanderers in 1908, England amateur international and former Aldershot player Charlie and his brother John signed for Woking in August 1953. 

Charlie’s arrival at Kingfield and his belief in total football transformed Woking in a few short seasons into a club recognised for always trying to play stylish passing football. 

Swiftly becoming captain, centre-forward Charlie soon began collecting personal honours in a playing and managerial reign at Kingfield spanning 15 years.

These included playing for Surrey, Hampshire, the FA XI, the Isthmian League, Middlesex Wanderers and the England amateur side, holding the club individual scoring record of nine goals in a game – in a 10-3 win over Dorking in 1963 – and becoming the Cards’ all-time record marksman with more than 260 strikes. 

Fortunately for Woking, the Charlie Mortimore legacy of total football lives on at the club.

Future Woking teams went on to play his style of football – not always with great success – but generations of supporters grew accustomed to this approach and demanded nothing less.

For the full story get the 19 September edition of the News & Mail

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