New name for sports ground

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PUPILS gathered to share memories as a sports ground was renamed after a popular former school headteacher.

John Howard became headteacher at the West Hartlepool Technical Day School in 1948.

He sadly died more than 30 years ago but former pupils and keen sportsmen honoured his memory at a recent renaming ceremony.

Members of the West Hartlepool Technical Day School for Boys Rugby Club (WHTDSOB) joined club bosses and councillors at the ground in Wiltshire Way, Hartlepool to celebrate the change of name.

The ground is now called John Howard Park.

As part of the occasion, John’s daughter, Elizabeth Skuse, carried out the renaming ceremony.

In her speech at the event, Mrs Skuse said: “I am very honoured to be here today.

“Dad would be absolutely delighted, thank you very much.”

After enjoying the naming ceremony, the members pulled on their sports gear and took part in games of football and rugby to mark the occasion.

Keith Large, WHTDSOB rugby club spokesman, attended the ceremony and said the day was a memorable one.

Dad-of-four Mr Large, who lives in Westbrooke Avenue, Hartlepool, said there was a good turn out on the day.

The 73-year-old added: “It was great to see old members and sportsmen turn out.

“The club was traditionally a rugby club but Hartlepool Football Club approached us and asked if they could use the park.

“It was a case of keeping the club going and we now class ourselves as more of a sports club.

“We thought it would be nice to rename the ground and John was a man who had an impact on a lot of people.

“He was such a powerful impressive guy and was always very interested in sport and the state of the club.”