Tributes paid to well-known local football figure, Steve

Local football is morning the loss of Steve Wheeler, a well-known figure in and around the Essex area, following a short illness.

Probably best remembered for his time with Bowers & Pitsea FC (then Bowers United). Steve spent several years in the late 1980s and early 90s at the Len Salmon Stadium, leading the club to Harry Fisher Memorial Trophy success in 1992.

Steve Wheeler (far left, back row) pictured with the Bowers team from 1992/93

His management style and successful teams earned him much admiration and he was rewarded with the stewardship of Romford and then Bishop’s Stortford, where he worked closely with former Arsenal and Celtic star, Martin Hayes, further enhancing his reputation.

He would also manage Basildon United and Tiptree United, stabilising both clubs during difficult times, as well as guiding Stambridge United to promotion in the Essex Olympian League.

A lifelong Arsenal fan, having played for them as an apprentice professional. As a player, Steve represented Heybridge Swifts and Bowers, before turning his attention to management.

Gavin Axcell, who played for Steve at Basildon, Bowers and Romford, as well as working closely with him at Tiptree, echoed the sentiments of many who knew him, telling Yellow Sport: “Steve was greatly respected in the local football world, but he was also a great friend who had a heart of gold and who would help anyone if he could.”

A devoted Husband, Father and Grandfather, Steve will be sorely missed.

His funeral will be held at Pitsea Crematorium Friday, October 8 (10:30am) followed by a gathering at the Bowers & Pitsea Football Club.
The family welcome anyone who would like to pay their respects and remember Steve.

Rather than flowers, the family have requested that people donate to the charity Barnardo’s should they wish to.

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]