Tributes paid to Stevenage FC legend Delvin Stevens
- Credit: Courtesy of Lucy Stevens
The family of a much-loved and well-known former Stevenage FC player and manager, Delvin Stevens, have paid tribute to him following his death last month.
From his vast football career within Stevenage, Cambridge City and Barnet clubs, to his 60 years in the building trade, Delvin touched the lives of many in his 74 years.
Delvin was born on January 1, 1948, to John and Rene (Ray) Stevens, in Knebworth - where he grew up with his mum, dad and brother Graham.
He began his football career with the Barclavian Football Club, the youth section of Stevenage Town FC, and went on to play for the reserves, breaking into the 1st team in 1966 at the age of 18.
Throughout the 60s and 70s, Delvin's love of football took him from Stevenage Town to Barnet, Cambridge, Arlesey and Stotfold, and back again to Stevenage Town.
It was with ‘the Stripes’ that he took up the reigns with the youth team, successfully leading them to winning the East Anglia trophy and the Herts County cup.
He worked for his dad's company, Stevens and Barratts, and eventually went on to work for himself with his son Marc and his brother Graham, building houses and other projects around Hertfordshire, after his dad sold the business.
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Delvin was married to wife Dawn for 21 years, and is survived by children Marc, Elley, Lucy, step-daughter Becky, and nine grandchildren.
On behalf on the family, Lucy told the Comet: "Our dad was the best dad, grandad, husband and brother we could ever ask for.
"Although he loved his football career, he postponed the chance to further his career to be a father to his young family.
"Once my eldest brother Marc was old enough to play, my dad soon set up a team and followed as a manager, as the team grew in age and became successful with winning many trophies.
"My sister Elley and I followed my dad and his teams to many games and tournaments, so we were very much part of his managerial succession.
"Dad was a huge part of our lives and we appreciate everything he did for us. We are left heartbroken and will miss him dearly.
"He was our hero, our friend and we are very proud of him."
In a tribute on behalf of Stevenage FC, family friend Lloyd Briscoe described Delvin as "a true and loyal servant to the club", and said "his loss will be a shock to all who knew him".