Loyal Nelson: Howe and Cherries players 'defying gravity'
DEAN Court old boy Tony Nelson a Cherries loyalist for more than 50 years believes the class of 2010 are defying gravity and he is desperate to see them finish the job. Signed by Freddie Cox in 1956, Nelson played 195 league games for the club before going on to serve with distinction as assistant manager, chief scout and caretaker boss. To celebrate his 80th birthday, the former centre-half enjoyed matchday hospitality and watched from the stands as Cherries moved a step closer to promotion by beating Hereford in midweek. Despite the time that has passed since he gave 19 years of dedicated service to Cherries, Nelson is as keen as ever to see his club succeed. The players have played with their hearts on their sleeves this year, Nelson told the Echo. They are up there and they are doing the impossible. With the staff and the embargo, it is marvellous what Eddie and the players are doing. The squad has been decimated with injuries at times. This lad (Howe) has got a good personality and the right sort of personality. He doesn't go over the top with hype and he's got some lovely little touches, like getting in a huddle at the end of a game. I think the players play for him and I think it's brilliant. I hope sincerely he gets promotion and I hope he's in a similar position in League One next year. He deserves it. Having lived in the same house in Moordown since 1965, Nelson has continued to support his former employers by attending games as a season ticket holder. And he will be there when Cherries host Darlington this afternoon, alongside his son-in-law and twin granddaughters, who he says are avid football fans. Nelson, an estate agent prior to retirement who also managed in non-league with Poole Town and Bournemouth Poppies, added: I shall be there today in my usual seat try stopping me. I've got a season ticket and I don't miss a game. I look forward to it every week. It's funny really that, after all these years, I've got a bond with the club. I was there for 19 years and you don't just walk away from something like that. It's always been a happy club. In spite of all the turmoil, you can sense that the players love the club. I'll always be associated with the club. It was my life for 19 years and you don't throw that away. ¢ Nelson was presented with a signed ball on the Dean Court pitch prior to the Hereford game. He plans to donate it to a raffle to raise funds for Lewis-Manning Hospice.
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