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Team-Mates Pay Tribute To Tony Waiters

Glyn James and Graham Oates Share Memories of Friend

16 November 2020

Glyn James and Graham Oates have paid tribute to their friend and former team-mate Tony Waiters, who sadly passed away at the age of 83 last week.

Waiters, capped five times for England, joined the Seasiders from Macclesfield Town in 1959 and spent eight years between the sticks at Bloomfield Road.

“He was a larger than life character. He was full of life,” said James, who helped marshall the Blackpool defence in front of him.

“He was dedicated. He was always a good trainer. Most goalkeepers can only run short distances, but he always used to battle away at it.”

For one-club man James, there is a particular memory that stands out when fondly remembering his good friend.

“We played against Hong Kong one time. Me, Tony and Johnny McPhee had all been out after the game and we decided to get a rickshaw.

“We had one rickshaw each. We were going up this steep hill, and Tony’s driver, who seemed a bit older, struggled to get up this hill.

“Tony got out and then pulled this rickshaw all the way up the hill with the driver sat there in his seat. I’ll always remember that as one of my best moments with him.”

“He was full of life all the time. He was a real gentleman at the same time, always very humble and down to earth.

“I’ll always remember him as a great lad, a great player and an even better person.”

Fellow team-mate Graham Oates, who spent seven years in tangerine, also paid tribute to Waiters’ ability and character.  

“He was a tremendous goalkeeper and a terrific guy,” Oates said. “He had a brilliant physique. I couldn’t keep up with him, put it that way.

“He was a smashing lad and just such a lovely guy to get on with. He was one of the players I would’ve loved to have seen and reconnected with. He was a good friend of mine and a great goalkeeper,” he added.

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