Tributes to football's Albert
TRIBUTES have been paid Devon Football Association president Albert Beer who died peacefully at his home in Bideford on Saturday morning. Mr Beer, aged 91 years, was also the president of the North Devon Football League and has served as the league s regi
TRIBUTES have been paid Devon Football Association president Albert Beer who died peacefully at his home in Bideford on Saturday morning.
Mr Beer, aged 91 years, was also the president of the North Devon Football League and has served as the league's registration and fixtures secretary. Behind the scenes, he was involved with the local game for more than half a century, while on the field, Mr Beer played for Appledore and the Army.
Also a former chairman of the North Devon Football League, he became Devon FA President in 2005. In one of his last public engagements as county president, Mr Beer presented the 2009 Devon Premier Cup to Boca Seniors, following the cup final against Bovey Tracey at Ladysmead, Tiverton, last April.
Boca secretary David Loder said his side was honoured to have been presented with the trophy at Mr Beer's last major engagement.
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"Albert was a club and players' man through and through," Mr Loder told the Gazette.
"He'd always fight the case for players and even referees at times. He knew every rule in the book and corrected me on a number of occasions.
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"If you rang up, he'd always try and help you out; he was a true gentleman and will be sadly missed by all."
Boca chairman and former North Devon referee Brain Fishleigh served on the North Devon League committee with Mr Beer for more than 10 years.
He said Mr Beer's football knowledge was "second to none".
"Albert was an unbelievable person to know; a true gentleman who will never be replaced. He was a very knowledgeable person and was involved with the game since day dot.
"I believe he was the first North Devonian to be elected onto the Devon FA and he once told me that he did so because he was the only one who had a car to get to the meetings.
"He would always help out anyone in football and he will be greatly missed," added Mr Fishleigh.
A service of thanksgiving for Mr Beer's life will be held at St Mary's Parish Church, Bideford, on Monday at 2pm.