Tributes to “great servant” of South Norfolk Sunday League Football

Football. Picture: Matthew Usher

Football. Picture: Matthew Usher - Credit: Matthew Usher

Members of South Norfolk’s footballing fraternity will today gather to pay their final respects to a popular Sunday football league president described as a “great servant but also character and a gentleman”.

Walter Ernest Davey, commonly known in football circles as Dick, died last month after 40 years of dedicated service to the South Norfolk Sunday Football League.

The 89-year-old played for East Harling and Garboldisham until he was 30, after which he served as a referee for the Norfolk County Football Association for 23 years.

He also completed 27 years as a referee assessor - during which he assessed Poringland’s Darren Cann, who is an assistant to referee Howard Webb at this month’s World Cup in Brazil.

Mr Davey’s funeral takes place at Blo Norton church today.

Ray Collings, honorary secretary of the South Norfolk Sunday Football League, said: “Local football has lost not only a great servant but also a character and a gentleman.

“The esteem with which Dick was held, with his wealth of knowledge, was immeasurable.

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“Dick gave over 40 years of service to the South Norfolk Sunday Football League and for the past 20 years has been its president.

“Known for his quick wit and wicked sense of humour, he would often have a sombre committee meeting in fits of laughter with a sharp quip about something or someone.

“Dick was happy to be classed as ‘old school’ and said you can always learn something from the past.”

According to Mr Collings, Mr Davey was “disappointed in the manner in which the game is now played”, with lack of discipline top of his list of concerns.

However, Mr Collings said Mr Davey was “tremendously pleased” to see Mr Cann chosen to represent England the World Cup. Mr Collings added: “Local football has lost a great character and also a great asset to the area.”

Pay your tributes to Dick Davey by writing, giving your full contact details, to: Mercury Letters, 26 Mere Street, Diss IP22 4AD or email