Hastings United should keep gifted player Sam Cruttwell

Sam Cruttwell is back from holiday in time for Hastings United's FA Cup third round qualifying tie away to Margate tonight. Picture courtesy Scott White
Sam Cruttwell is back from holiday in time for Hastings United's FA Cup third round qualifying tie away to Margate tonight. Picture courtesy Scott White

From: Rupert Bayfield, Forewood Lane,Crowhurst

I write to express my dismay at the departure of Sam Cruttwell from Hastings United – in fact, devastation, might be a better word!

I have 70 years’ experience of watching football at this level (7 and 8), my father having ridden me on the crossbar of his bike to watch Finchley (now Wingate &) in what was then the Athenian League, all those years ago.

In my opinion, shared by many of my fellow ‘U’s supporters of a certain vintage, Cruttwell is the most skilful player I have ever seen at this level – in fact his skills would grace any League One team, if not higher.

Watching him running with the ball with his speed, balance and artistry, with his grace of movement, almost balletic, would make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up – an effect I have not experienced since watching Nigel Winterburn playing for Wimbledon in the 80s – poetry in motion!

Unfortunately, because of his ability to play in any position, and therefore being consigned to the back four more often than not, his skills as “play-maker” were rarely exploited, but when they were, the team would absolutely come alive!

In my humble opinion, Hastings were lucky in the extreme to have such a gifted player, and to allow him to go off to some sport which neither I nor anyone else has ever heard of, is criminal – almost vandalism.

It must surely boil down to mis-management? Surely someone can convince him to return?