Wednesday 17th April saw us learning of the sad passing of former Hednesford Town player Paul Ware, aged just 42. Ware had been in remission following treatment for a brain tumour, but was taken ill again recently and sadly lost his battle with the illness this week.
Midfielder, Ware, born in Congleton 7 November 1970, began his senior football career with his local club side, Stoke City, progressing through their youth set-up to earn a professional contract in 1987. He made his first-team debut in his first season with the Second Division club to become a key player during his seven-year stay between 1987 and 1994.
Having previously been relegated, Stoke narrowly missed promotion back to Division Two at the end of the 1991-92 season, finishing fourth in the Third Division. Nevertheless, they did clinch a trophy; the Associate Members’ Cup with a 1-0 win against Stockport County; Paul had played his part with a sterling display in the semi-final, scoring against Peterborough United to take his team to the Wembley final.
After more than 120 first-team appearances for Stoke, Paul joined Stockport County, the team he had opposed at Wembley two-years earlier; and between 1994 and 1997 made 54 appearances. During his time with County, he spent a year on loan to Cardiff City before Hednesford Town stepped-in to take him to Keys Park in 1997.
At the end of the 1998-99 campaign, Paul signed for Macclesfield Town where he made 18 appearances in his two-year term, transferring to Rochdale to make 38 outings before once more entering non-league football, as he re-joined ourselves in 2002 to play a further 21 senior games.
Everyone at Hednesford Town Football Club was saddened to hear of our former midfielder’s passing and our thoughts go out to his family at this difficult time.