Derby

Kinder rally remembers 'last trespasser' George Haigh

George Haigh Image copyright Kate Ashbrook
Image caption George Haigh was 16 when he joined the Kinder Scout mass trespass

The last surviving member of the Kinder mass trespass is to be remembered at a rally marking the protest following his death aged 103.

George Haigh, who died on Tuesday, was born in Stockport and played for Stockport County before World War Two.

Mr Haigh was part of the 1932 protest that saw hundreds walk on to private land on Kinder Scout, in Derbyshire, to assert their "right to roam".

In 2012, he told the BBC he was "proud" of what he and his friends did.

The mass trespass increased public rights to access the countryside and many argue it led to the National Parks legislation in 1949.

Mr Haigh died one day before the 87th anniversary of the Kinder Trespass.

Image copyright Trespass Walking Group
Image caption Ramblers at Kinder Scout mass trespass

Mr Haigh was just 16 at the time of the protest and was working at a bleaching and dyeing firm.

"To get out in the countryside at the weekend was an absolute must," he told the BBC.

"I was very keen on the right to ramble and couldn't at that particular time because there were always these [game] keepers sending you back."

"I'm very, very proud of what I did," he added.

Kate Ashbrook, from the Open Spaces Society, who met Mr Haigh at the 80th anniversary of the trespass, said his death was "poignant and sad".

She said he would be remembered with "admiration and affection" at the Spirit of Kinder event in Castleton on Saturday.

Mr Haigh made his debut for the Stockport County in 1936, after leaving school to sign for Manchester City in 1929.

In his last interview with the club, he said he joined the RAF as a physical training instructor following the cancellation of his contract due to World War Two.

Stockport County's director Jon Keighren said: "George was an amazing individual who was passionate about our football club."

Mr Keighren said the club would pay tribute to him at their game at Nuneaton, on Saturday afternoon.

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