A local resident has stepped down after 20 years of service to Abbots Youth Football Club.
Steve Gray has been praised by fellow volunteers for his unwavering dedication to the club.
Paul Davison and Steve Gray had sons who attended the same school and were inspired to get involved in Abbots Youth FC back in the early 2000s. Steve was originally an assistant manager for his son’s team, taking them from under 10s through to under 18s. He then helped form an adult team for the boys to join when they returned home from university.
Steve became a profoundly important figure in the club, attending two overseas trips to Holland for the club and hosting two Dutch boys on their reciprocal trips to Abbots.
Over the years, he has held a number of key positions, requiring him to liaise with other local clubs and leagues.
Paul said: “Steve started working at the club in the days before emails. It was a huge amount of work to manage and organise the club.”
Most recently, Steve coached the club’s nursery team, encouraging those aged under six to get stuck into football.
Even though Steve has now formally stepped down from the club, Paul says that he can’t resist still checking in.
Paul said: “The fact Steve was still coaching at 69 is tremendous. Even now, I’ll see him and ask what he’s been doing and it turns out he’s been at the club all morning.
“He gave up so much of his time for the club and community. He was instrumental in getting the club to the place it is today.”