Isthmian League

Remembering ex-Hawk Alf Ford

Former Hawks striker Alf Ford has died peacefully at his home in Shoreham at the age of 84.

Alf joined from Shoreham and played as a striker for the Hawks for two seasons in the sixties. He’s specially remembered because in 1966-67 he featured in a Hawks forward line that consisted of three players with the same surname. Billy Ford, John Ford and Alf Ford wore numbers 8, 9 and 10. None of them were related.

Alf’s most successful spell as a player was at Littlehampton, but although he joined the Hawks as an ‘outsider’, he alway spoke about how he enjoyed the great community spirit of the club and the fact that he was always welcome at the ground. Alf also played for Shoreham and Wick, as well as boxing with Hove ABA and the army. 

John Ford, Alf Ford and Billy Ford line up for the first time together for the Hawks at Shoreham in March 1967

Alf was a very well known and popular figure in Sussex non-league football as he went on to manage Lancing, Horsham YMCA, Shoreham, Steyning Town and Withdean. In an interview in 1995 he summed up his philosophy: “Football should be played on the deck, quick and precise. I don’t want to get a headache watching the ball booted in the air.” Alf began in management with Sunday side Buckingham Rovers and was still managing in his sixties.

Kevin Keehan, who is about to publish a book on the history of Sussex Non-League Football, spoke for many on hearing of Alf’s passing: “Sad news. A nice man.”

Alf Ford, second from the right on the second row, with his family on his last visit to Whitehawk FC for National Non-League Day in 2018

Alf’s funeral is on Wednesday 30th March, 11am at Worthing Crematorium. His family have requested family flowers only and donations to be made to Dementia UK. 

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