MORE than 120 mourners headed to Hanworth Crematorium last week to pay tribute to a Feltham FC legend who first arrived here 50 years ago as a prisoner of war.
Lifetime president Willi Seuke, known affectionately at the club as 'Mr Feltham', passed away at on April 14 at West Middlesex Hospital, following a heart attack.
At his funeral last Thursday dozens of former players, managers and chairmen gathered to reminisce about his years of dedicated service down at the Arenas.
His son Richard said: "Dad would have loved it that so many old faces from Feltham showed up. Football was always his passion and everything was about Feltham for him - he absolutely lived for it."
Father-of-four Mr Seuke, who also has five grandchildren and twogreat-grandkids, found his way to Feltham in 1951 after a long journey across Europe, via the United States.
He had been born in Pomerania, in Germany, on September 16, 1926 and joined the Luftwaffe at the age of 15.
He was shot in the Rhineland and captured by American troops who eventually sent him to a prisoner-of-war camp in Baltimore, where he remained until 1947, when he was shipped back to England.
After travelling from Liverpool to Nottingham under armed guard his group of prisoners was marched south to Hanworth.
"It was a long, strange journey that eventually brought my dad here," said Richard, who still lives in the family home in Campbell Road,Twickenham.
"Even then he was still determined to get home or go to Paraguay and set up a sheep farm. He only decided to settle here when he met my mum."
After meeting and marrying his wife Pauline, Mr Seuke settled in Twickenham and began working as a landscape gardener.
In 1954 he joined his beloved Feltham FC, then playing as Tudor Park FC, and spent 12 years as their goalkeeper before going on to act as a committee member, chairman and president.
Current chairman Brian Barry this week described Mr Seuke as, 'the heart of the club'.
He added: "Even though he wasn't too well towards the end he still used to pop down and see us. He was a lovely man and he'll be missed by everyone at the club."