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Tribute: Dons fan Les was a familiar face at Wimbledon station

Les started supporting us in the 1960s

18 November 2020

AFC Wimbledon were saddened to hear about the recent death of Leslie Martin Varron, who was a lifelong Dons supporter and a well-known figure in the community.

After over half a century of working at Wimbledon train station, Les was welcomed to our club as a special guest a few years ago, and he is pictured above cutting his retirement cake after leaving his post with South Western Railway.

Mick Pugh knew Les well and he has put together the following tribute.

Les stood on the terraces of Plough Lane as a young boy and became a passionate, lifelong Dons fan. His memories spanned the 1960s teams under Les Henley, through to the excitement of the Allen Batsford era, and he enjoyed watching the Dons gain entry to the Football League twice. Les was a regular at Kingsmeadow and he was very excited by the prospect of a return, at last, to Plough Lane. Sadly, this wasn’t to be.

Les spent his entire working life at Wimbledon Railway Station, where he worked with my own son, Tom. He started work for British Rail, then South West Trains, and finally South Western Railway (First Group). He was very popular with work colleagues and passengers alike and his irrepressible sense of humour made him a welcome and familiar face as platform assistant and dispatcher .Just two seasons ago, Tom told me that Les was retiring after an amazing 52 years at the station. As a surprise gift, I went along to the training ground and got the entire first-team squad to sign a Dons shirt for him. His many friends and workmates presented him with the framed shirt at his favourite pub, The Raynes Park Tavern.

Les was a delight to work with and would often have the staff and management laughing at his jokes and funny antics. He was regarded as an ever-present fixture at the station and he made many friends there and at Kingsmeadow, where he followed the Dons passionately. Les will be sadly missed and as a mark of respect the hearse carrying his coffin, draped in his AFC Wimbledon scarf, stopped outside Wimbledon Station, bringing traffic to a halt. A large gathering of work mates, friends, and passengers stood applauding him for the last time.

RIP Les - a true Dons fan.


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