I have heard today from the family that former Argyle winger Harry Penk, 86, passed away yesterday (21 June). He had been unwell for some time. He first played for Wigan Athletic, then in the Lancashire Combination. After attracting attention from all the leading First Division sides, in September 1955 he joined Portsmouth. The £2,500 fee was then a record for a non-League player. After two seasons at Fratton Park, Harry elected to join the Rowley revolution at Home Park. He quickly established himself with supporters and in his first two seasons was an automatic choice, forming a superb wing partnership with his great friend Peter Anderson. Their ability to switch wings at a moment’s notice is part of Argyle folklore, a tactic they used with often devastating effect on unsuspecting defences. After 111 appearances and 16 goals, including one at Peel Park, Accrington in April 1959 which secured promotion, in the summer of 1960 Harry elected to travel east along the coast and join Southampton. He went there on the understanding that he would be deputy for John Sydenham, an under 23 international who was doing his National Service. However, Saints’ manager Ted Bates admired Penk’s desire to track-back and often picked him even when Sydenham was available. After four seasons at the Dell Harry retired from the professional game and returned to non-League scene. But he was also an accomplished club cricketer, a game he excelled at with bat, ball and the wicket-keepers’ gloves if required. After football he worked at the Husband’s shipyard in Marchwood, taking advantage of the Painter and Sign-Writer qualifications that his Dad had insisted he get before joining Portsmouth. Harry Penk has left an indelible mark on my life. Not only was his one of the first autographs I ever collected at Home Park, in later years a chance meeting with his daughter Lynn led directly to me writing the first of my “Memory” books, something that has given me a life-changing interest in football history. He was the first player I interviewed and I got to know him and his lovely wife Barbara exceedingly well. When he was well enough to see me, I enjoyed many visits to his New Forest home. And there I saw at first hand that wile Harry was a professional footballer and an outstanding cricketer, the most important thing in his life was family. He had two daughters and a son who adored him, so in some ways it is rather fitting that he died on Fathers’s Day.