Record appearance holder dies

The Rye United Football Club team of 1947/48 with goalkeeper Fred Masters in the middle of the back row
The Rye United Football Club team of 1947/48 with goalkeeper Fred Masters in the middle of the back row
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Rye United Football Club’s all-time record appearance holder has died at the age of 91.

Fred Masters, who passed away quietly on Monday November 25, played in 388 matches for The Salts-based outfit. What’s more, 170 of those games came in succession between March 1948 and November 1952.

The goalkeeper made his debut on November 29, 1947 in an East Sussex League game away to Hastings Rangers, which Rye won 7-3.

Fred’s final first team outing came in the 2-1 win at home to Wigmore Athletic on February 20, 1960, although his last recorded game in a Rye shirt was a 6-6 third team friendly draw against Weald Electric on December 1, 1962.

Fred won a Sussex County League Division Two champions’ medal and was part of the team which finished runners-up in Division One in 1959/60. He also did a lot of fundraising work for the club.

Born in Ore Village in 1922, Fred moved to Rye after serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment in World War II. He worked for Jempsons Haulage, firstly as a driver and later as a transport manager.

A father to Paul and Sandra, Fred was also a captain and chairman of Guestling Bowls Club. His funeral will take place at Hastings Crematorium on Friday December 13 from 10.15am and there will be a gathering afterwards at the Robin Hood in Icklesham. Donations to the Royal British Legion, no flowers.