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Michael Foot: Statesman and Plymouth Argyle fan

Michael Crick | 12:34 UK time, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Michael Foot wasn't just a former leader of the Labour Party and former Cabinet minister, but boasted a political career of extraordinary longevity.

He first stood for Parliament in 1935 - for Monmouth.

He played an important role in the anti-appeasement movement and was one of only two survivors of those MPs elected in 1945 - the other being John Freeman.

He was also the oldest surviving ex-MP.

And quite aside from politics, he has an important career as a writer, literary critic, biographer and journalist.

And he was the only leader of either main party since World War II to retire and die without taking a title of any kind.

Michael Foot was also a keen supporter of Plymouth Argyle Football Club, and was even allocated the club's no 90 shirt on his 90th birthday, and he was named every game in the squad list in the programme.

He was also a shareholder and director of the club.

According to his friend David May, who was still driving Foot to matches until about four years ago: "He first went to games when he was seven years old." - which must have been in about 1920.

There is also a story that Tony Blair got excited one day that Foot announced he was dropping by to see him in his Sedgefield constituency.

But Blair was rather disappointed when Foot only stayed a few minutes. His real reason to go up to the North East was to watch Argyle.

"It was like arriving with a celebrity," says his Argyle companion David May. "You'd have to push him through the crowd. Everyone would want his autograph. People kept referring to him as 'Lord Foot', and he got quite ferocious about that: 'No, I'm not.' He always refused a title."

His ambition was to live long enough to see Plymouth Argyle in the Premiership. Sadly they never made it.



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