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Blue plaque for former England footballer John Atyeo from Dilton Marsh

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A BLUE plaque will be unveiled in Dilton Marsh to commemorate former England footballer John Atyeo, who hailed from the village.  

John was born in Dilton Marsh and spent most of his career at Bristol City where he made 645 appearances and scored a club record 351 goals. Playing for England he won six caps between 1955 and 1957, scoring five goals. 

John also played as an amateur for Portsmouth in 1950/51, then as a part-time professional for Bristol City while qualifying as a quantity surveyor until signing full-time ahead of the 1958/59 season. 

In 1963/64 he reverted to part-time status to prepare the way for his post-football career as a mathematics teacher at Kingdown School, Warminster, followed by a short spell at Matravers before retirement. He died in Warminster in June 1993, aged 61.  

Dilton Marsh Local History Society has worked with John’s family to have the blue plaque installed at their home on September 24th. 

Graham Noble, society chair, said, “In various interviews with those Dilton residents who have had a long association with the village, the name of John Atyeo, English footballer, was mentioned more than once. As a resident of a mere 18 years I had no knowledge of either his connection with Dilton Marsh or his considerable talents and achievements.  

“On further discussions with those who had  first hand knowledge of John, it become apparent that he was an exceptional character, giving freely of his time and support to the local sports clubs.” 

Graham added, “While there is some recognition of his association with Dilton Marsh through the naming of Atyeo Close, I do feel that in John’s case a blue plaque would be entirely appropriate and indeed make clear his achievements while living in Dilton Marsh.” 

The unveiling of the plaque will take place at 6.30pm and followed by a talk at the Dilton Memorial Hall from Tom Hopegood, author of “The Hero Next Door”, at around 7.30pm. 

A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place in the United Kingdom and elsewhere to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person, event, or former building on the site, serving as a historical marker.  

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