John Mara 1926 - 2019
John Mara's Hall of Fame entry published in a First XI programme, researched and written by Patrice Mongelard:
John Mara started playing for the Guild in 1953-54, accumulating 149 appearances and scoring 24 goals in six seasons up to 1959-1960. John played mainly for the Second XI - or the Reserves XI as it was known at the time - and the Third XI which was set up in 1954-55. John had moved from central London to a newly built house on the Davis Estate at the start of the 50s as the post-war house building boom attracted people out to Orpington. He was fortunate to find neighbours John Matthews and Cyril Wiles who already played for the Guild and the rest is history. John had in fact given up football when he moved to Orpington, having previously played in the London Commercial league, but was encouraged by Taffy Yeomans and John Matthews to put his boots on again and play under the leadership of Stan Cole at the Tugmutton Recreation Ground. Years later, after having helped to build the clubhouse with its new bar, John was nominated by Dave Edwards to oversee the stocking of the bar – a job that John carried on doing into his nineties. John was instrumental in founding the FOBS – for retired Guild players to continue to meet, reminisce and share stories at social events. John’s already long association with the Guild at the time was recognised in 1994 when he was presented with the President’s Salver as the club member who had best served the club in that year. John turned up at the club on Mondays and Tuesdays to sort out the bar order with Shepherd Neame. He was for decades part of a small band of loyal and hard working senior club members whose long standing contributions to the Guild often go unheralded.