Tag Archive for: Tributes

Tributes paid to Inverness groundsman

Tributes paid to Inverness groundsman: Inverness Caledonian Thistle has paid tribute to their groundsman Tommy Cumming who has died.

Read the full article from Inverness Courier here

Tributes paid to Inverness groundsman

Tributes paid to Inverness groundsman

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Tributes to groundsman David Leitch

Tributes to groundsman David Leitch: St Andrews United Football Club has paid tribute to former groundsman David Leitch who died aged 85.

Read the full article from The Courier here

Tributes to groundsman David Leitch

Tributes to groundsman David Leitch

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Tributes paid to Donald Holt

Tributes paid to Donald Holt: Hyndburn’s cricketing community has paid tribute to a former club chairman and groundsman following his death, aged 82.

Read the full article from In Your Area here

Tributes paid to Donald Holt

Tributes paid to Donald Holt

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Tributes to JCB employee

Tributes to JCB employee: Tributes have been paid to a former JCB employee who joined the company as a teaboy and rose through the ranks to become a director.

Bill Hirst MBE – who was the third person recruited by JCB in 1947 – passed away last night (Sunday, January 5th) at the age of 86.

Tributes to JCB employee

Today JCB Chairman Lord Bamford led the tributes to the man who joined JCB as the company was in its infancy. Lord Bamford said: “Bill and his generation helped my father to build a company which became a real force in the world of construction equipment.  Bill was very proud to have worked for JCB and will be remembered by many, many people from the early days of the company. I’d like to offer my condolences to Bill’s wife Jean and all her family at this very sad time.”

Bill, the fourth of eight children, joined JCB as a 14-year-old tea boy when he left St Joseph’s School in Uttoxeter, where he had been Head Boy.

He was recruited on a salary of £1 a week when the company was based at stables at Crakemarsh, three miles down the road from JCB’s World Headquarters at Rocester.

And it was Bill who was instrumental in the relocation to Rocester in 1950 to the site of a former cheese factory. Bill knew JCB Founder Joseph Cyril Bamford was searching for a new location for a factory and suggested the Rocester site – because it was closer to home and meant he could spend an extra 10 minutes in bed each morning.

Tributes to JCB employee

Bill started his National Service in 1951 as was posted as a Royal Military Policeman to Kenya, returning to JCB two years later.  He married his wife Jean in 1955 and the couple had four children.

On his return to JCB, Bill completed 10 years as welding foreman, five in research and then joined the service and spares department at Rocester as service engineer, later becoming Warranty and Final Inspection Manager. He was awarded the MBE for services to export in the New Year’s Honours List of 1975 and became Technical Services Director in 1981. Bill Retired in 1991. He was a staunch supporter of the Royal British Legion and served as President of the Uttoxeter branch in retirement.

Speaking on JCB’s 65th anniversary in 2010, Bill said: “I am proud to have been part of JCB – it’s been my life.”

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Tributes paid to Derek Hughes

Tributes paid to Derek Hughes: Tributes have been paid to a Vale of Clwyd footballing stalwart who died last week.

Derek Hughes, a long-time groundsman at Denbigh Town Football Club and a stalwart of the Llanrhaeadr Summer League team, died on Monday morning.

Tributes paid to Derek Hughes

Mr Hughes was the groundsman at Denbigh Town’s Central Park ground for over a quarter-of-a-century and he was a talented goalkeeper during his playing days.

Denbigh Town secretary Stephen Whitfield told the Denbigh Town website: “The place simply will not be the same without Derek knocking about.

“When any of us went to the ground on a Friday, we would initially see Derek’s car in front of the open shed doors and so go over.

“He was a straight talker was Derek and so there was always an interesting chat to be had.

“I will miss him so much and so will everyone here.

“We cannot believe he won’t be back. It is heartbreaking.”

Denbigh Town chairman Shon Powell added: “After hearing the terribly sad news, we are all devastated at the loss of a dear friend above anything else.

“He will be sorely missed by all.

“Derek was involved with the developments at the club over the years and it is difficult to see how we will manage without him.”

Paying tribute to Mr Hughes, Llanrhaeadr FC’s Bryn Evans said: “All I can say is that he will be a huge loss to us all at the club.

“He started taking me to summer league games when I was 8-9 years old.

“He was always on the phone Tuesday and Friday morning asking about the score and who scored.

“He spent hours before the season on getting our pitch playable.”

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Tributes for Burton groundsman

Tributes for Burton groundsman: Tributes have been paid to a green-fingered South Derbyshire man who tended to Burton Albion’s hallowed turf more than 30 years.

Alan Roberts has sadly died at home, aged 88.

Tributes for Burton groundsman

Mr Roberts worked most of his life as a coal sampler at Rawdon Pit, but in his spare time enjoyed looking after the bowling greens in and around Swadlincote.

He always had a love of football and was delighted to become the Brewers’ groundsman, first at Eton Park and later at The Pirelli Stadium.

Alan first started tending the pitch in the early 1980s, when Neil Warnock was manager, and continued until after the club moved to the Pirelli, which holds nearly 7,000 fans, in 2005.

His son, Paul, said: “He only really stopped because at his age when they moved to full-time at the new ground. That was too much for him.

“He was always there most mornings with different volunteers helping him at different times, quite often supporters who would come in if there was snow or waterlogged pitches.

“The football was his first priority, but he also looked after the bowls green at Newhall Social and quite a few other people asked him to help their groundsman. People used to pick his brains when things went wrong.

“He was a farm labourer in his early life and that is where he picked up the skills and his real love was always working outside.

“I was lucky enough to referee at a decent level and went to grounds all over the country and my dad was always keen to go with me when he could and if we turned up at a waterlogged pitch and I thought the game would be off he would say ‘ask the groundsman, he knows better than anybody’.

“He could walk on any pitch, bend down and tell you what type of grass it was. He absolutely loved it.”

Alan who was 88, passed away at home on Monday, November 4.

Burton Albion Chairman Ben Robinson, said: “It was very sad to hear that such a great servant to the football club had passed away.

“Alan will be fondly remembered by the many people he worked with over the years after battling with all the elements to make sure our games went ahead.

“Groundsmen are the unsung heroes without whom we could not enjoy football matches on a Saturday afternoon.

“Our thoughts are with his wife, Joyce, and all his family and friends at this time.”

Alan is remembered by Joyce, Paul – and Paul’s cousin, David, who Alan and Joyce brought up from an early age.

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Tributes To Stalwart Willie Duffy

Tributes To Stalwart Willie Duffy: Stenhousemuir Cricket Club paid tribute to one of its greatest stalwarts Willie Duffy, who died last Friday, aged 83.

Willie joined the club in 1952. He was a steady medium paced swing bowler. He had some spectacular success such as the occasion when he took six wickets against Watsonians at Myreside and when he accounted for Scottish batsman Hamish More in the Masterton Trophy Final.

Tributes to Stalwart Willie Duffy

He became 2nd XI captain in 1972. He later became a dominant president of the club until his retirement in 2001 and was very proud of the club’s successes. He looked after the ground so well that he was honoured by Cricket Scotland as Groundsman of the Year.

Willie Duffy was the heart and soul of the club. He was just always there. Nothing gave him greater pleasure than to see young players doing well, unless it was enjoying a convivial afternoon in the bar with all the regulars.

It is difficult to put Willie Duffy into words. He simply was Stenhousemuir Cricket Club and will be really sadly missed. Our thoughts go out to his widow, Molly, so long Captain of the Tea Ladies, and all other family at this time.

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Tributes Paid To Gary Lewis

Tributes Paid To Gary Lewis: Tributes have been paid to former Blackpool FC groundsman Gary Lewis, who has tragically passed away.

His son Mark has taken to Twitter to reveal the sad news, saying he and his family are “in shock”.

Tributes Paid To Gary Lewis

Lewis joined Blackpool as groundsman in May of last year, having previously spent three years with Macclesfield Town.

He left Bloomfield Road in April.

“He worked for Utd, Swinton, Salford, Accy, Macclesfield and Blackpool to name a few.

“My family is in shock but so proud of our amazing man. Sleep tight Dad.”

Several Twitter users replied to the post sharing their condolences.

“We are very sad to hear this news,” the club said.

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to you and your family, Mark.

“Rest in peace, Gary.”

Robert Heys, head of partnerships at Blackpool, tweeted: “Gutted to hear the news that Gary Lewis has sadly passed away.

“It was a genuine privilege to have known and worked with him at Accrington, Macclesfield and Blackpool.

“A lovely kind-hearted man who always had a smile to share. Hope you can watch tonight. Will miss you mate.”

Paul Grimshaw replied: “Only knew him for a few months but a really top bloke.”

Simon Muggleton said: “Gary seemed a decent bloke and was always offering people to go and have a chat with him while at Blackpool. All the best to the family.”

Tom Kirk added: “Thoughts go out to you and the family he will be missed.”

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Tributes For Former Groundsman

Tributes For Former Groundsman: Tributes have been paid to the former head groundsman of Bangor on Dee racecourse after he passed away on Wednesday, July 10 aged 82.

John Malam, who will always be associated with the North Wales course, where he was affectionately known as Mr Bangor on Dee, was from the neighbouring village of Overton on Dee and began working at the track back in 1971.

Tributes For Former Groundsman

The Leader’s horse racing reporter Arthur Shone said Mr Bangor on Dee never really went away after that first day, with the family name still going strong with both his sons now taking care of the track.

He said: “Horseracing was his life and Bangor on Dee racecourse was the centre of his world. In 1980 he was promoted to head groundsman following the retirement of Tom Osborne and continued in this full-time position until he retired in 1997.

In his final year as head groundsman the racecourse was awarded the Neil Wyatt Award for ground staff, an award I know that made him a very proud man and especially of his team, which he always referred to as ‘his lads’.”

Mr Malam was restless in retirement and continued to support his beloved Bangor on Dee racecourse and carried on for many years afterwards as stable manager and running the yard on race days, often in this role he would arrive first thing in the morning to have a coffee with his team.

Arthur Shone added: “I have known John Malam for over four decades as a friend and I always used to enjoy his company, he also used to build the fences at Aintree racecourse and on certain courses between the flags.

“In fact, he shared my passion for point to point racing and was very knowledgeable about the sport he loved, he used to describe the sport as real racing.

“I have so many happy memories of the man, one was at the now defunct Flagg Moor racecourse out in the wilds in the Peak District that used to have one meeting a year on Easter Tuesday, a racecourse that used to hold a members race over stone walls, with a spare change of clothes mandatory due to the adverse weather changes at the track.

“I arrived early at the meeting and met up with John who was about to walk the course in glorious sunshine, so I dug out my wellingtons and joined him half way around it rained of biblical proportions, when we got to the last hundred yards there was hail stones followed by a snow blizzard.

“John turned around to me said, “This is what point to point racing is all about” – I remember having to get my car towed off the racecourse at the end of the meeting, happy times.

“He will be sadly missed by his many friends in racing, which I was happy to be counted as one of them.”

The Malam family tradition continued when his eldest son Andrew became head groundsman at Bangor on Dee when his father retired in 1997, a position he still holds today and in 1991, Andrew’s brother Brian started as assistant groundsman to his brother and remains part of the team to this day.

Lifelong friend and racecourse manager Jeannie Chantler said: “His hard work and dedication are his legacy. Thank you, John, from all at Bangor on Dee racecourse.”

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Tributes Paid To Bob Black

Tributes Paid To Bob Black: Tributes have been paid to a community stalwart who supported football clubs in his area for more than 40 years.

Bob Black, of Evenwood, was a passionate fan of Evenwood Town Football Club and became well known for helping out with everything from fixing stands to painting on the white lines.

Tributes Paid To Bob Black

Mr Black, a factory worker, was established as the voluntary groundsman and never missed a game or training session if he could help it.

When the club disbanded in the early noughties, he offered his skills to Spennymoor Town Football Club before settling at Bishop Auckland Football Club at their Heritage Park site where his grandson Harry plays for the St Mary’s team.

Mr Black met his wife Anne in 1972 and the couple were married in 1974.

They had two children, Michael and Andrea as well as five grandchildren and a happy marriage which often involved trips to the football.

Mr Black retired in August 2016 before being told he had lung cancer in February 2017.

He underwent an operation to remove the cancer and was back to his positive self before being told it had returned about six weeks ago.

“The worst part of him being ill was not being able to go to the football – he was in hospital with a chest infection but was always planning on coming back out,” Mrs Black said.

“He was always so positive and did not give in to it.”

Mrs Black added: “He was easy going and nothing was a trouble. He would help anybody and would not see anybody troubling anyone.”

The couple celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary in hospital this year before Mr Black’s death.

However, the family say they have been overwhelmed by the support and good wishes from not just family and friends but football supporters from all over the country who encountered Mr Black at games.

Mr Black was previously named Supporter of the Year at the club.

Mrs Black said: “We are just amazed at the amount of support we have had from everyone.

“We have had messages from those in North Shields, Spennymoor and Darlington and lots of away teams have messaged us on Facebook saying what a lovely man he was.

“We also had cards and flowers from the St Mary’s team.”

A statement on the Bishop Auckland Football Club’s Facebook page also paid tribute to their “programme seller, groundsman, steward, odd job man and very good friend to all of us”.

A spokesman said: “I have personally known Bob for over 40 years from my Evenwood Town FC playing days where he did everything up there and I enjoyed many an hour with him at football games, at St Marys Juniors – for which his grandson plays – and he liked nothing more than chatting about the ex players, showing me photos, sitting with the players after a match and me sneaking a chocolate roll out to him after half time refreshments.”

The club added: “Rest in peace Bob you were, are and always will be a top top man and gentleman to all.”

Mr Black, who was also a keen gardener and stamp collector, died on Saturday, April 20, aged 67.

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