The private funeral service for Rocester FC stalwart Gilbert Egerton took place at Rocester Church on Monday (March 1), followed by burial in the cemetery. Those wishing to pay respects lined the route of the cortege as it left Eaton Road and travelled via Ashbourne Road and Church Lane for his final journey through the village he loved.
The private funeral service for Rocester FC stalwart Gilbert Egerton took place at Rocester Church on Monday (March 1), followed by burial in the cemetery.
Those wishing to pay respects lined the route of the cortege as it left Eaton Road and travelled via Ashbourne Road and Church Lane for his final journey through the village he loved.
Gilbert first joined Rocester Football Club as a player in 1953, but after just three years playing he decided to hang up his boots and take up some responsibilities behind the scenes.
He was duly elected onto the committee in 1956 before becoming club secretary in 1958, a position he held until 2006.
Along with his great friend the late Ken Green, Gilbert kept the club going through some difficult times during the 1960s and 1970s, his loyalty and devotion to the club knowing no bounds.
In days gone by, before the club had a proper ground and clubhouse, he would regularly be seen cutting the grass on the old pitch with a hand mower, hand-washing the kit and even removing cow pats from the pitch just before kick off.
In later years, whether completing paperwork directed at him, entertaining visiting F.A., League or club officials, marking the pitch, cleaning out the dressing rooms or making the tea, Gilbert continued to carry out his ‘work’ with the same enthusiasm, and in his quiet unassuming way.
As well as seeing the club through many lean years, Gilbert played his part in, and enjoyed, some great times at Rocester – particularly during the mid-1980s and 1990s.
This was when the team won several league championships and cups; moved into the current ground at Hillsfield; and progressed from playing in local county level leagues into a widely respected semi-professional club.
These were exciting times for Rocester, and Gilbert’s expertise and experience in football administration proved invaluable throughout.
Gilbert not only made a huge contribution to Rocester FC, he also served on the management committee of the Staffs County League for ten years in the 70s.
He was secretary of the Uttoxeter Sunday League for four years alongside Chairman Ken Green, and he was on the Uttoxeter Challenge Cup committee for fourteen years.
Gilbert was also amongst those involved in the now highly successful Uttoxeter and District Sunday League originally formed many years ago. He was also a keen cricketer in his younger years.
He remained a regular at both home and away games until the last three or four seasons, but health issues meant he was unable to continue attending matches.
Having completed over 50 years of dedicated service to the club, Gilbert truly was ‘Mr Rocester,’ and his passing in January was a very sad day for everyone connected to the club.
A Rocester FC spokesperson said: “He will always be remembered fondly and with great respect.
“Our thoughts are, of course, very much with his family and friends at this difficult time – particularly his grandson Jonny Harris who is still very much a part of our club.”
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