Hornet Heaven Deceased Player of the Month: Leonard Dewick
Leonard Dewick was a goalkeeper who wore spectacles on the pitch. Olly Wicken asks: How do you think his Watford career went?
Len Dewick joined Watford as an amateur in November 1923. He was understudy to the greatest goalkeeper in Hornet Heaven, Skilly Williams. At first, he didn’t get a look-in. But then, in March 1924, he got his chance in the first team.
It wasn’t an auspicious debut: he let in three goals in a midweek defeat at Southend. He kept his place for the Saturday, though. Unfortunately, he let in another three goals in a home defeat to Portsmouth. And then, the next week, he let in four goals in a defeat at Brentford. He’d conceded ten in three games.
At this point, Skilly Williams came back into the team. Len didn’t give up, though. At the start of the next season, in August 1924, he stood in for Skilly again.
This time, he kept a clean sheet in a draw at QPR. Then he kept another clean sheet in a 1-0 home win over QPR (again). Then, playing away at Southend again, he kept yet another clean sheet in a 4-0 win. Compared to his first three games, his second three games for the club were a triumph. Watford were now second in the Division Three South table, with a perfect defensive record.
After that, Len played one more game (a 1-1 draw at Charlton) before Skilly Williams took over again. He left the club in the summer of 1925 and had a couple of spells at Chesham United. He wasn’t a bad goalkeeper. At Chesham, he played for the League Representative XI.
And in Hornet Heaven, where he’s mates with Skilly, he’s known as someone who had a bad start but stuck with it and did himself proud. Even though he had to wear spectacles during matches.
Today, in 2023, the Watford fans in Hornet Heaven have the greatest respect for Len – not just for his strength of character, but because any Watford fan anywhere would love to be able to say they’d kept a clean sheet for the ‘Orns.
Len Dewick has only ever been an understudy to Skilly Williams in the Hornet Heaven audio stories so far. Find out more about Hornet Heaven at HornetHeaven.com