Welwyn Garden City’s former Gosling Stadium manager reflects on life as he marks 90 years

PUBLISHED: 12:15 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:15 13 February 2019

William Heague, who celebrated his 90th birthday last week, used to run Gosling Stadium. Picture: DANNY LOO

William Heague, who celebrated his 90th birthday last week, used to run Gosling Stadium. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

The former manager of Gosling Stadium has reflected on life as he celebrated his 90th birthday.

Neighbours Ron and Diane Cooper with William Heague, who celebrated his 90th birthday last week and used to run Gosling Stadium. Picture: DANNY LOONeighbours Ron and Diane Cooper with William Heague, who celebrated his 90th birthday last week and used to run Gosling Stadium. Picture: DANNY LOO

William Heague was overwhelmed with the “unbelievable” number of cards and visits he received when he became a nonagenarian on February 6.

Great grandfather Mr Heague spent 22 years in the army and worked as a physical training instructor.

For four years, he trained many people how to ski in Germany.

Then he relocated to Norway, where he was part of a cross country ski team training to take part in the Olympics.

Mr Heague and the others trained in temperatures as low as -50 °C.

As part of their goosebump-inducing training, at the end of the day they would undress in the sauna and run a mile around an athletics track in the nude with just shoes on before returning to the sauna to relax.

Sadly, despite all this hard work, he didn’t get the chance to compete as the team was called home.

But his ski skills came in handy when he ran the ski centre at Gosling Stadium.

Mr Heague was a manager at Gosling Stadium from 1971 until he retired at 60.

He said; “I though I was always responsible for the health and fitness of Welwyn Garden City, and I thought I achieved that when you consider how many members I had at the stadium.

“I was very very proud of it, plus all the staff and I worked together as a family.

“I have wonderful memories.”

Mr Heague is concerned about what the future holds for Gosling Sports Park given talk of the possible sports hall closure.

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