Football fans from rival clubs are getting together to restore the grave of one of the games most legendary player.
Harold Halse was the first man to ever play in FA Cup finals for three separate teams – Manchester United, Chelsea and Aston Villa.
But he became forgotten and when he died in 1947 he was buried with little ceremony in an Essex seaside resort. His grave became derelict.
Weeds are growing out of it and not only does it not mention his football fame, it’s virtually impossible to read his name.
But now thanks to the extraordinary detective work of a member of the Chelsea Graves Society it is going to be restored.
And the CGS have teamed up with a Manchester United supporters group to try and get Halse the grave he deserves.
Halse played for England and scored an incredible six goals for United in the 1911 Charity Shield.
Andrew Rowley whose detective work led to the discovery said: “We had been searching for Harold’s final resting place for some time.
“We finally managed to find the grave from records of his wife and daughter who emigrated to Australia after his death and then were able to backtrack to Walton on the Naze.
“He had been a tobacconist there in 1937. I visited Walton Cemetery recently and after a lot of searching found it.
Unfortunately, it’s not in the greatest condition.”
Halse appeared on the front page of the Mirror in 1914 and was photographed with his daughter in the paper in 1920.
CGS Founder Nathan Whitehouse, added: “Halse also played for Manchester United as well and we are working with them to try and trace the family with a view to getting the grave stone repaired.
“It’s at times like these that rivalries are put aside as football fans come together to recognise men who played football for our clubs in a completely different era.
“Harold Halse played for England. He deserves a proper gravestone to mark his contribution to the game.
“Men like him should not be forgotten – they are as important as the Mason Mounts and Paul Pogbas of today.
Historian Iain McCartney from the Man Utd Graves Society said: “Every player should be remembered no matter if he played one game or 501.
“They are part of their history and heritage.”