The death of Bob Holmes


November 16, 1955
Last of “Invincibles,” Bob Holmes dies
A great footballer of the old days, Mr. Bob Holmes, died at his native Preston to-day, aged 87. He played as a full-back for England seven times and was the last surviving member of the famed Preston North End “Invincibles” team of 1888-89 that accomplished the rare double of winning both League and Cup honours in one season. Aston Villa did likewise in 1897 and the feat has not been achieved since.

Mr. Holmes collapsed in the yard of his home on Tuesday and was admitted to the Royal Infirmary with a broken leg. An inquest will be held to-morrow.

Bob Holmes was a marvel of physical fitness for his age. When well in the 8’s he still had the energy and alive faculties of many a man 20 years his junior, and until his powers began to fade some months ago, was not troubled by his advancing years, and still took as keen an interest in sport as anyone.

70-year love.
He had followed the fortunes of his beloved North End, man and boy, for over 70 years. He was a player at Deepdale in his teens, and an assistant groundsman there when well past the normal retiring age. His love of cricket was hardly less fervent.

He worked for Preston Cricket Club for a long time after his playing days had finished as assistant to groundsman Joe Wormaid at the West Cliff ground. Quite recently a match organised by the club was played for his benefit.

Holmes’ pride in Preston North End transcended all else. He played in one Cup Final and helped to bring the trophy to Preston. As an old player, he was the club’s guest at four other Finals.

His greatest disappointment was that he did not see Tom Finney on the winning side at Wembley two years ago. He felt it as keenly as if he had been one of the losers himself.

He was the proud possessor of a special cap awarded by England for playing against Scotland in three successive matches, yet he was hardly less proud of playing at full-back for both England and Preston alongside another Prestonian, the late Mr. Bob Howarth.
(Source: Lancashire Evening Post: November 17, 1955; via http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited

** Note Bob Holmes passed away on November 16.

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