Bishop's Stortford Football Club is mourning the loss of legendary manager Ted Hardy, who led the club to FA Amateur Cup glory at Wembley in 1974
Bishop's Stortford Football Club is mourning its legendary manager Ted Hardy, who has died at the age of 91.
He led the Blues to Wembley glory in the last FA Amateur Cup final to be held with a 4-1 win over Ilford in their centenary season of 1973-74.
Hardy was in charge of Stortford for three-and-a-half years from the summer of 1971 to January 1975.
The Wembley triumph was the pick of many highlights, with Dave Lawrence, Peter Leakey, Dennis Murphy and Martin Smith on the score sheet in front of more than 30,000 spectators at the national stadium.
Club statistician Graeme Auger, who has looked through the archives to reflect on Hardy's hugely successful tenure, said: "Ted Hardy was almost certainly Stortford's greatest manager.
"In his first season in 1971-72, the club finished fifth in the Isthmian Premier Division and the following term the club reached the second round of the FA Cup before going out after a replay to Peterborough United. The semi-final of the FA Amateur Cup was also reached whilst the Herts Senior Cup was won.
"The 1973-74 season was the club's centenary season and they celebrated in style at Wembley, winning the last ever Amateur Cup by beating Ilford 4-1. They again won the Herts Senior Cup and also lifted the London Senior Cup.
"During the season Stortford went from the beginning of November 1973 to the beginning of May unbeaten and, despite having so many matches to play towards the end of that season, almost won the Isthmian League championship but had to be satisfied with third place. Ted resigned midway through the following season."
In a tweet, Bishop's Stortford FC said: "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of legendary Blues manager Ted Hardy.
"He famously led the club to the FA Amateur Cup in 1974 and we would like to offer our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time."
As a youngster, Hardy was an apprentice and junior professional at Leyton Orient, Arsenal and Blackpool before a cruciate ligament injury ended his hopes of a playing career in the Football League.
He went on to play for the likes of Wealdstone, Hendon and Leyton in the amateur game before becoming a managerial star in non-League.
He had four spells in the hot seat at Dagenham, three with Enfield and also served Hendon and Leytonstone & Ilford.
Hardy had twice tasted defeat in FA Amateur Cup finals with Dagenham before finally lifting the trophy with Stortford at Wembley in 1974.
He also led Dagenham & Redbridge to the 1997 FA Trophy final at the age of 68 where they were beaten by Woking 1-0.