Tributes pour in for local football stalwart Ron

A series of glowing tributes have been paid to former Southend & Basildon Sunday Football League Chairman and well-respected local football figure, Ron Spurgeon, who passed away following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.

A solid right-sided defender for Barham Athletic, Ron was involved with the Southend Sunday League from 1964 – its inaugural campaign. He joined the league’s management committee in 1969 and then undertook the role of Assistant Secretary in 1978 for sixteen years before becoming vice-chairmen in 1994.

Mr Spurgeon became Chairman in 1999 – he also found time to look after the league’s representative teams for a quarter of a century.

Mick Thomas, the League Treasurer since 1995 and committee member since 1985, said: “Ron was an absolute stalwart of this league right back from his playing days and when he joined the management committee in the 1960s.

“He undertook the role of Assistant Secretary for sixteen years up until 1994 when he became Vice Chairman and then moved up to Chairman in 1999 – a role he pursued with energy and diligence before stepping down due to ill-health in 2014.

“He even found time to look after the league’s representative teams over most of those last 25 years. One of the driving forces behind the league for all those decades, Ron, you will be greatly missed. Our sincere condolences go out to all of his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Current League President, Bob Pashley, who has been on the committee since 1976, added: “Ron took the job of Chairman seriously and attended the finals day’s in full regalia, blazer, shirt, tie, chain of office etc, as he handed out the prizes.

“I can’t remember him missing a committee meeting in his various capacities during my time around the table – I know he used to go and watch matches on a Sunday morning for many years.”

Meanwhile, Southend Borough Combination Veterans League secretary, Tony Hoskins, spoke about his memories of Ron, saying: “He was my team manager when I played for Cricketers FC which were some of the best eight seasons I enjoyed.

“I have so many stories about Ron from those days. I then joined the Sunday League Management Committee for three seasons during which time I enjoyed many laughs and with Ron.

“When I became the League Secretary of the Southend Borough Combination Veterans league in 1998, Ron was the 1st to call and congratulate me on my appointment plus we exchanged a few jokes.”


Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]