In Memoriam

We would like to use this page to honour the work of those associated with the ESFA who have sadly passed away.

Malcolm Berry 

“The ESFA is greatly saddened by the news that former Chairman, Council Member, Chief Executive and Life Member Malcolm Berry passed away on Christmas Eve following a long illness.

Malcolm had a distinguished teaching career in his native North-East and alongside that was heavily involved with Northumberland County SFA; he was chairman in 1970-71 and Secretary from 1977-79. He was elected to the ESFA Council in 1979 and was Chairman in the 1989-90 season. In 1991, he became the ESFA’s first Chief Executive and he and his wife Lorna moved to Stafford, where they both became fully involved in community and church activities.

Malcolm’s nine-year tenure as ESFA Chief Executive saw significant changes for the Association; his commitment, passion and attention to detail were instrumental in guiding schools’ football through challenging times and ensured that young people were at the centre of the ESFA’s decision-making.

On retiring in 2000, Malcolm was made a Life Member of the ESFA, and continued to take an active interest in schools’ football. The ESFA “family” meant a great deal to him, and that remained the case during his difficult last few weeks, when Head of Administration Lorna Blakeman and National Competitions Manager Darren Alcock visited him – both joined the ESFA when leaving school and were mentored by Malcolm during his time as Chief Executive.

The ESFA extends its deepest sympathy to Malcolm’s widow Lorna, to the rest of the family, and to his many friends in schools football and behind. He will be greatly missed.”

Wyn Bailey

 Wyn and her husband Bill, ran the Islington & Camden Schools association with meticulous skill for 60 years and many players owe their football opportunities to this devoted couple. Sadly Bill passed away several years ago and now Wyn has joined him.

Wyn attended many many matches over the decades and attended the very first Wyn Bailey Trophy final (a new Inner London Schools FA competition for Year 7 girls, that was introduced in her honour) only a few years ago. 

Mike Spinks will be sending flowers and attending Wyn’s funeral on behalf of the Association.

 We thank Bill and Wyn for their decades of selfless service to schools football. 

Alan Heads 1943 – 2019

Alan Heads who died recently was Chairman of ESFA in season 1997-98, a proud and plain speaking Northumbrian who served schools football with distinction.

Following teacher training in Sheffield Alan returned to his native north east and began his teaching career in Whitley Bay as a geography specialist. He was an accomplished sportsman and played table tennis and cricket to a good standard as a young man and later turned to golf, playing at one point to a handicap of five.

Alan immediately got involved running football teams in his school and when Hillheads School became absorbed into the newly created Monkseaton High School he took a particular interest in the senior age group. With his support Monkseaton developed a strong reputation and gained considerable success in ESFA national competitions. He took a wider interest in the administration of schools football and became Hon. Secretary of North Tyneside SFA and served for many years on the Executive Committee of Northumberland SFA. In 1987 Alan was elected onto the ESFA Council as a regional representative with responsibility for the senior age group national competitions and a national selector for the ESFA Under 18 squad. Under Alan’s guidance many players who had been part of the ESFA Under 18 selection process found soccer scholarships in American universities. His enthusiasm and attention to detail served ESFA well until his retirement from Council in 2003.

Alan was greatly helped and supported in his football work by his wife Liz. They were great travellers taking every opportunity to enjoy cruising, exploring America and very regularly absorbing the sunshine of Tenerife. Sadly Liz died suddenly whist on holiday in Tenerife in 2016. Alan too died suddenly in June this year after a short illness.

Alan was a blunt and straight speaker who was prepared to stand up for the things that he believed in and his contribution to schools football locally and nationally was immense.