Watford's oldest known player, who once had the unenviable task of marking the great Stanley Matthews at Vicarage Road, passed away at the age of 92 last week.

Dave Bewley, who was born in 1920, joined Watford from Fulham in May 1953 for £500 and was a first team regular for the Hornets before moving to Folkestone in 1956.

A calm and cultured full-back, Bewley was considered for international honours as a schoolboy but it wasn't until he was 26 that he made it in league football.

After retiring from playing in 1957, the former Hornets defender took up a coaching post at Hemel Hempstead Town where he stayed until 1959.

During his career he had also played for Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic (now AFC Bournemouth), Gravesend, and Reading.

The Watford Observer's former assistant editor Oliver Phillips recalls a story Bewley once told him: "Dave was one of the few players who had a car and he would take Frank Mitchell and Jimmy Bowie to races after morning training.

"I think he gave me the anecdote about playing Stanley Matthews in an exhibition friendly when Watford were undergoing the floodlit boom.

"He was so diligent in marking the great man, Matthews eventually turned to him and said: 'These people here have paid to watch me play, not to see you tackle me."

After leaving football, the talented sportsman captained Oxhey Cricket Club and worked for Kodak in Hemel Hempstead for 26 years.

Bewley was a popular character as demonstrated on his 92nd birthday when the entire Legends Lounge at Vicarage Road sang him happy birthday.