Death at 94 of Stalwart from the “Lawton Era”
Bob Crookes, one of the last surviving Notts County players from the famous “Lawton era” in the 1950’s, has died after a short illness at the age of 94.
He remained in good health until the last few weeks of his life and his passing comes as a shock to his family and many friends.
Older Notts supporters will remember a versatile forward - he played equally effectively at inside left or on the left wing - who had a rare burst of speed and a fine shot, this enabling him to score 45 goals in 177 League appearances.
He made just two appearances in 1949-50 as Notts stormed to the title of the Third Division South but reached his peak two seasons later, as a regular member of the team operating at the second tier. In 38 appearances he was the leading scorer with 15 goals, three more than Lawton himself.
Bob was first recommended to Notts on the back of some impressive displays for the Signals Regiment in India but declined the club’s overtures in favour of the teaching profession. He joined the staff of the Sir Frederick Milner school in his home town of Retford, where he lived all his life.
He was playing part-time football with Retford Town who reached the final of the Notts Senior Cup in which he was outstanding, so much so that Notts made a second bid for his services, this time successfully, though he always continued his teaching career.
After leaving Meadow Lane in 1956 he played briefly for Worksop Town, Grantham and, finally, Retford Town before retiring in 1961.
Bob enjoyed visiting Meadow Lane as a guest of the club, doing so for the last time for a 1-0 win over Blackpool at the end of April, 2017.
We offer our sincere condolences to his son, Ewan, daughter, Jean, and four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
A service to celebrate his life will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday 30 June at The Well Baptist Church, Hospital Road, Retford DN22 7BD. Those attending are asked not to wear black.