A FOOTBALLING great has been commemorated in Leamington.
A blue plaque honouring the life and achievements of former Arsenal and England star Eddie Hapgood has been unveiled at his former home in the town.
Hapgood played for The Gunners from 1927 to 1944 and was their captain from the early 1930s until the outbreak of war in 1939.
Under his leadership, the club won five titles and two FA Cups. He also won 30 England caps and led the national team for most of the 1930s. This included the infamous match against Germany in Berlin in 1938 where the team were made to give the Nazi salute prior to the game. Hapgood tried to prevent this happening but was overruled by the British Ambassador. England won the match 6-3.
Hapgood retired with his family to Leamington and lived at number 44 Heath Terrace until his death in 1973 aged 64.
The Leamington Blue Plaque Group and Leamington Spa Town Council organised and funded the installation of the blue plaque and the official unveiling was carried out by Leamington mayor Susan Rasmussen.
There were also many members of the Hapgood family, representatives from Arsenal FC and Leamington FC, Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western and representatives from the Leamington Society and Leamington History Group in attendance.
Hugh and Vikki Bickerton, the current owners of the house, said: “We’re very honoured to be living in a house with such an illustrious predecessor as Eddie Hapgood who achieved so much in his chosen profession. It was fascinating learning about Eddie’s pioneering influence on the game.”