Elliot Styles: A born warrior, a leader

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 May 2017

Frank Curley shakes hands with Elliot Styles ahead of his testimonial match at Hornchurch (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Frank Curley shakes hands with Elliot Styles ahead of his testimonial match at Hornchurch (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Past and present team-mates in tribute to Hornchurch hero

Frank Curley was quick to pay tribute to former team-mate Elliot Styles on his return to Hornchurch.

Midfielder Curley played 298 times for Urchins, before going on to become captain at Billericay, and said: “He’s a born warrior. If you got in a dogfight, you’d want him in your team to stand up and be counted.

“He’s a leader and a good fella and one of those who does his talking on the pitch.

“He’s not the loudest in the dressing room, but he says something if it needs to be said and plays a good game.”

Curley admitted he was quick to accept the invitation to play in Styles’ testimonial, having enjoyed some great memories during their time together.

And he also revealed just how well respected the Hornchurch defender is on the non-league circuit.

He added: “As soon as I was asked I was over the moon. Lifting the cup with him when we got promoted (to Conference South) is probably my favourite memory and credit to him, especially in non-league, it’s hard with budgets and players coming and going.

“But he keeps himself fit and keeps his appearances up each year and has been brilliant.

“I speak to a load of people and they always hope he’s injured when they play Hornchurch as you always end up with a few stud marks!”

Current Hornchurch defender Nathan Cooper was unable to take part in Styles’ testimonial due to injury, but paid his own tribute to his team-mate.

He added: “He’s a good bloke and just what we need. When we need a challenge or a header, he’s the go-to-man.

“A lot of people look up to him. He’s not the biggest talker, but he does hit bit on the pitch and leads by example.

“He’s a quiet guy off the pitch and just goes about his own business. When the time comes he will be hard to replace as captain, for sure.”

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