KINGS AND SPORTSMEN
British sport has lost a great, keen and patriotic patron in King George. In the more restricted sports he was a participant. He was one of the best shots in the world and, in the opinion of some competent judges, the very best pheasant shot in England. He was a rapid shot, too. He never seemed to have to wait to get the flight of the birds. As might be expected of a sailor, he leapt into action, picked his bird without hesitation and killed it clean. Nor was he slow to betray pleasure in his own success:a natural man this well-loved king.
As a racehorse owner he was less successful than his father. He had sometimes a winner but, though his horses were seldom favourites, a large number of sportsmen backed them regularly as evidence of an affectionate loyalty.
INTEREST IN POPULAR SPORT His interest in popular sport was always more a pleasure than a duty. At Wembley. Twickenham and Wimbledon he was there on time and always saw the whole thing through. He understood soccer, and his keen appreciation of the finer points of the game was a revelation to players and a lesson to his subjects. It was the same with rugby, and he saw grand games in both codes.
Games were always the better for his presence, his interest in the participants, his insistence on having them presented to him even to his own vast inconvenience, as at the 'Spurs v. Wolves Cup Final at Chelsea, where he walked out in a downpour on to a quagmire to greet them, added a
zest and keenness to the play of men who gave better than their best to please their best-beloved patron.
KING EDWARD VIII
At that memorable first finalat Wembley, when the crowd broke bounds and overran the pitch and pandemonium reigned supreme, his arrival acted like that of a father among his rowdy children in a nursery, the shouts melted into cheers, the ugly looks turned happy, and the crowd withdrew behind the touch-lines and the game was able to go on.
In George V. sport has lost a great and kindly patron; in Edward VIII it has a keen and gay participant. A good average in half-a-dozen spheres, he asks no quarter and will always choose the harder course. A class rider across country, and in steeplechases, he rides big horses, and has suffered in that his far fewer spills than most have received far too much publicity.
KEENNESS TO LEARN A hard " squash " player, a keen golfer, he wins or loses like a prince and a man. Anxious to learn, he watches intently, running with the crowd between the shots, clambering up hills, standing strained, a-tip-toe if the luck of the scramble lands him at the back of the crowd, kneeling, squatting, even lying on the ground so that he may not interfere with others' view if the luck should land him in front; a very natural sportsman this new king of ours.
The love and respect he earned among his fellow-soldiers at the front has been enhanced among those soldiers turned sportsmen in these days of peace. A sporting realm is happy in its sportsman kings-God rest King George, the well-loved; God save King Edward, his worthy son.