‘He lived for football’ – Tributes to Tony Cary who coached generations of young players in Stevenage

Tony cary

Tony cary - Credit: Archant

One of the most well-known figures in the world of Stevenage youth football has passed away at the age of 78.

Anthony Cary – known to most as Tony – died peacefully on Sunday, January 22, after battling cancer.

He was the proud chairman of Pin Green Juniors Football Club, based in Stevenage, and manager of the under-15s team up until his death.

Tony started volunteering with the club – originally known as Webb Rise – in the 1960s, initially coaching the under-six and under-seven teams. He had served as club secretary and then chairman for the past 25 years.

He was already dedicated to coaching when Pin Green Juniors was officially formed in 1968.

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The club issued a statement saying: “Tony’s commitment to the club spanned 45 years, not only running a number of teams during this period, but also taking on a number of important roles.

“Youth football was a massive part of his life to the extent that almost anyone who has been volunteering in football in the area will know Tony, along with his supportive wife Irene, who has been treasurer to the club for many years.”

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Tony’s friend and former club coach Paul Morris said football was Tony’s life.

“He enjoyed the game and he was a West Ham supporter, but his passion was to give boys and girls the opportunity to play football.

“He was proud to say he was doing something for the community.

“He had a unique coaching style and he worked very well with the girls and boys.

“The kids all liked him and knew him and he coached many many generations.”

He added: “Tony and Irene always came as a pair. If he was at training or at matches then she would be there. You would never find one without the other.”

Irene served as treasurer at the club, and the couple were involved in numerous fundraising events and in organising the club – which had teams representing all age groups in its 1990s heyday.

Tony leaves behind wife Irene, children Colin and Susan and several grandchildren.

Irene has said she would like to invite all past and current club managers and players and their families to the funeral service for Tony, to be held at Harwood Park Crematorium on the southern edge of Stevenage on Thursday, February 16, at 11am, followed by a buffet at the Coopers Inn in Poplars.

For more about Pin Green Juniors, email jo@pingreenjuniors.com or have a look at their website at pingreenjuniors.com.

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