FOOTBALL: Tributes pour in for ‘Mr UCL’ Jeremy Biggs who passed away

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Football clubs around the United Counties League came together on Saturday to hold a minute’s silence to remember a man at the heart of local football.

There was great sadness this weekend following the shocking news that UCL registration director and press officer Jeremy Biggs had died suddenly overnight on Wednesday at the age of 55.

What followed was an out pouring of tributes from the local football scene.

Many labelled Jeremy ‘Mr UCL’ because of his dedication and love for the local footballing scene, visiting each ground in the UCL at least once a year and producing match reports to promote the activities of the league.

The UCL’s Facebook page administrator Dan Beaman, who worked alongside him in promoting the league, wrote on Friday: “The news has sent shockwaves across grassroots football today - not just the UCL. I don’t mind admitting that I’ve had a lump in my throat all day, as have a lot of other people I’ve spoken to.

“Jeremy was one of a kind - old school football fan, happy watching the game whether it be a rainy Tuesday night at Buckingham or a big FA Cup game in glorious sunshine. He was there.

“Sky blue woolly hat (even when it wasn’t cold!), broken wonky glasses (he was too tight to buy new ones), and plastic carrier bag in hand.

“Behind the bushy eyebrows, overgrown nose and ear hair and beer-bottle glasses, was a lovely bloke with a dry sense of humour.

“Everyone got on with Jeremy, and you’d raise a smile when you saw him waddle into your ground with his clipboard seeking his stats for the day.

“The work Jeremy put in for the UCL over 30 odd years was staggering - only club officials will know how much time he put in. Even working up to midnight so players could play on the Saturday.

“There will never be another. No doubt his position will be advertised, and it’ll take two or three people to do his work. It’s the sign of the times. The Jeremy Biggs’ of grassroots football are no more.”

Jeremy was also a regular at Stamford AFC where he was a former secretary and vice president.

In a statement published on the club website Daniels’ secretary Phil Bee said: “It is desperately sad news. He always offered me great support after he gave up the secretarial role and has constantly been a great fallback if I have needed help or advice. This news is a real blow to us all.”

Blackstones stalwart Kevin Boor, who knew Jeremy from childhood, called him “a real gentle man,” in his tribute on the UCL Facebook page.

He wrote: “He knew everything about non-league and I still believe his first and, sadly, final love was Stamford AFC. I’m sure most of you are aware that his trusted yellow and blue scarf was his Wembley one for the Daniels.

“He truly was one of a kind, respectful, kind, funny, knowledgeable, dedicated and I don’t think we will ever see his like again. RIP old friend.”

Bourne Town stalwart Bob Lambert also paid tribute on the UCL page. He wrote: “A lot of people knew Jeremy a lot longer than I did but in the few short years as secretary at Bourne Town, every time we met he always had a smile on his face and enjoyed the hospitality at Bourne.

“He always managed to give me a telling off for the managers not filling in the result sheets correctly, none more than Dave Panton the then Reserve team manager.

“His knowledge of the local football amazed me. I remember phoning him about 2:30pm on match day with a query regarding an opposing players’ registration. With no hesitation he replied ‘Its ok Bob he was registered at midnight last night, it’s just not on Full Time yet.” Amazing he remembered such things.

“I will miss his blue woolly hat and his smile and wit, he always had time for a chat and catch up on player stats.

“The local football has lost a true guy and the UCL will have a hard time replacing him. RIP Jeremy.”

If you would like to pay tribute to Jeremy Biggs send an email to sports editor john.evely@jpress.co.uk