OBITUARY: Les Massie (1935-2020)

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of former Workington player, Les Massie, who died earlier this month.  He was 85.

Born in Aberdeen in 1935, Les started his career with Banks O’ Dee but moved to England in the mid fifties and became a very popular player with Huddersfield Town serving under Bill Shankly for a period at Leeds Road.  Denis Law was a team mate at the time.

He scored 108 goals for Town in 363 league and cup appearances, registering 100 League goals for The Terriers.

Les subsequently played for Darlington but endured a tough season there and struggled to make an impact.

Next stop was Halifax Town where normal service resumed for the centre forward with his goal ratio impressive, forty one league goals in 89 appearances.

His first spell at Bradford Park Avenue followed but it was something of a surprise when he joined Reds in December, 1969.

Many questioned Brian Doyle’s decision to bring a 34 year old to Borough Park half way through the 1969-70 campaign.

Les Massie

It proved to be an inspired piece of work from the Reds boss and Les became one of the club’s best ever ‘stop-gap’ signings.

He helped the club avoid re-election in his first season, never missing a game after making his debut in December, 1969.  He chipped in with eight goals which converted to ten priceless points and his professionalism made him a popular member of the staff.

Les remained for the following term and pre-season goals against Carlisle United (2-0) and Blackpool (1-0) assured him of a place in the starting XI.  He scored a further eight goals plus one in the FA Cup, a late winner v. Chesterfield, before injury ruled him out for eight matches towards the end of that season.

His Reds career ended with 68 appearances and 16 goals to his credit but he brought so much more to the club than those impressive statistics.

Les returned to Bradford Park Avenue, who were then a Northern Premier League club, and later had a spell with Selby Town.  He ended his senior career with a brief stint in Irish football at Drogheda United.

We send our condolences to his son and family.

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