AN APPEAL has been launched to find surviving family members of a Wrexham FC war hero, after his unmarked grave was discovered.
The Wrexham Supporters Trust (WST) is hoping to make contact with relatives of former player Bertram Ernest Foster to gain permission to purchase a headstone for his grave. Foster – who was known as Bert – served in the First World War and played in the Reds historic first Football League game.
WST chairman and club historian Peter Jones said: "With this year being the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, a true story of a former Wrexham player has come to light. "While researching other projects, the Wrexham Supporters' Trust discovered Bert's grave to be unmarked, and felt as a community owned football club Bert's resting place should be marked with a headstone on his grave. The board will look to raise funds to honour Bert's rest place, but need the relevant permission from Bert's family."
Foster joined Wrexham FC after the First World War in February 1920.
Playing at half-back, he went on to play in two Welsh Cup finals, losing to Cardiff in 1920 and gaining a winner's medal in 1921 with a 3-1 win over Pontypridd. He also played in the club's first match in the Football League in 1921 against Hartlepool United.
Mr Jones said: "During the war, Bert served with The Welch Regiment having joined up at the age of 17, and it was said he'd 'seen considerable service' and was 'a crack shot'. He survived the Great War, but died in 1922 at the young age of 23 in The Turf Hotel situated overlooking the Racecourse Ground at Wrexham where he was a player. The cause of death was thought to be pneumonia."
Mr Jones said Foster was known to have had only one sister, Cissy May Foster, who married Richard T Jones in 1928, but died in the Maelor Hospital in 1986, leaving her daughter, Miss Connie (Constance) Jones.
At the time of her death, Cissy lived in Bury Street, Hightown, but she was known to have had a large number of cousins, one being Ellis Clutton who acted as her applicant on her death. Mr Clutton is believed to have been from Bryn Offa, but has also died in April 1986. He had a wife, Dilys Mary Clutton, and a son, Eric.
This address will go straight to The Racecourse for collection by WST.