ONE of the best-known names on the Cornish soccer scene, George Atherton, died in hospital on Saturday, a day before his 89th birthday.

An accomplished, well organised and tough-tackling defender, George had a great love of football and made an early impression as a youngster when he played for Flushing, the place of his birth, in the Falmouth and District Football League.

He played for Flushing during 1945-46 when they won the western section of the Cornwall Junior Cup but sadly were beaten by Torpoint in the final.

He had the honour of captaining the Cornwall Youth XI when playing for Flushing Athletic and it came as no surprise that his success would make him a target for other clubs.

He joined Falmouth Docks – where he also worked – and quickly established himself to become part of a successful Boslowick set-up.

The annual “home and away” trips to London for the games with Green and Silley Weir was always a time to which he looked forward to pitting his skills against really good footballers.

He was part of the victorious Docks side that won the old Cornwall Senior League in 1959-60, but his career came to an end in the mid-1960s when he suffered a broken leg.

It didn’t dampen George’s enthusiasm and he liked nothing better than to become involved in the Docks’ inter-departmental football competition with the outside fitters. Competition was fierce and reputations counted for little in a tournament still revered today.

George went into management at the club in the mid-1960s and he became the only manager to lift the Cornwall Combination League title for the club when they won it in 1969-70.

Following the demise of the football club in 1985 George, who had football running through his veins, began to support Falmouth Town and he spent many seasons enjoying his visits to Bickland Park until ill-health prevented him from attending.

His funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.