Return to Grassroots Football
I did not want to write this update until it actually happened; but competitive football returned to the SCSL with eight fixtures in the Premier Division to start the 2020/21 season. Its been a long wait with plenty of uncertainty but our Clubs have worked hard to ensure that they comply with the new guidance.
But we have to be mindful that we are still in a Pandemic and we are nowhere near being back to what we would recognise as normal. Football is part of the local community and we need to continue to make sure that we keep players, team officials, match officials and spectators safe.
Like so many in the football community I am still reeling from the shock of the sudden passing of Dennis earlier this week. He served the SCSL for over 20 years in various capacities, most recently as our Fixture Secretary and with all the uncertainty over recent months, it meant that we were in almost daily contact, which included the day we sadly lost him.
I’ve known Dennis for over 30 years and worked closely with him when he was at Norton United and in recent years on the SCSL Committee. Its fair to say that we disagreed with each other more often than not and his straight talking style would have ruled him out from ever being a career Diplomat. But there was tremendous mutual respect and friendship. Dennis was a fantastic football administrator and judging by the messages since his passing, it was obvious that he helped so many people either in sport, as a former school teacher or just as a friend.
The Dennis I knew was a very compassionate man.
Conversations with Dennis usually took the same format and would usually start abruptly with “I have to tell you…..”. That would be the cue to tell all about something or someone, that had fallen below the high standards he expected. And he usually had a point.
We would then move on to “And to be fair….” where he would then tell me about a chat with the person who let him down last week and that all was resolved.
Conversations would always end with a “I’ll have to go….” because that was the thing with Dennis, he usually had somewhere to be. He often spoke warmly about his family; he loved his sport, particularly football & cricket; we spoke about politics but he very much understated the work he did for local charity because I know he raised thousands of pounds over many years.
He will be missed and my thoughts are with Gail, Matt and the rest of his family at this difficult time.
Rest in Peace Dennis
Staffs County Senior League