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Birthday surprise for Will's 80th

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: September 06, 2012

Will James who celebrated his 80th birthday this week

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YOU might imagine getting a man who is celebrating his 80th birthday a present he hasn't received before is quite a challenge.

But not even St Just footballing "legend" Will James, who turned 80 on Tuesday, could have expected a 16-verse song to be written in his honour.

The song, sung to the tune of German wartime classic The Girl Under The Lantern by Lili Marleen, was written by Mr James's friends Turid Nyhamar and Roy Valentine.

It opens with the line: "We would like to honour, Willie, with this song, dearest Willie James who is 80 autumns young," and was sung by his friends and family at a celebration on Sunday.

Mr James said: "It was a fantastic day; it was a great day even though the weather was a bit misty."

Mr James, who was born on September 4, 1932, in Tregeseal Valley in St Just, is well known locally for his footballing achievements, which saw him play for St Just, Penzance, Pendeen and Torquay.

He also played cricket for Holmans Dry Dock. His selfless dedication to St Just FC, where he volunteers, was recognised when he won the Citizen of the Year award in 2011.

During his career as a master turner, Mr James worked at Holmans Foundry in Tregeseal between 1946 and 1958, Holmans Dry Dock between 1958 and 1979 and then W Stevenson and Son in Newlyn until 1997.

During the birthday celebration, Mr James looked at pictures and videos with family.

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