Sussex football pays tribute to Peter Bentley

Sorely missed. Peter Bentley
Sorely missed. Peter Bentley

The local football community is coming together to pay tribute to Peter Bentley, a ‘stalwart’ of Sussex football who sadly passed away last night.

Peter occupied a vast number of roles within both the Sussex County FA and the Sussex County Football League over a period of more than 35 years and is likely to be best remembered for his tireless work as chairman of both.

Sussex County FA Chief Executive, Ken Benham, said: “Peter dedicated much of his life to football, Sussex football in particular, operating as both chairman of the Sussex County FA and Sussex County Football League, along with his role as FA Representative with The FA that was cut short by illness.

“Peter will be sorely missed by so many, a Sussex stalwart for sure, and he fought his illness very bravely and with great dignity to the end, his passing is not only a great loss to Sussex, but football generally.”

Football clubs across the county are expected to hold a minute’s appreciation ahead of this weekend’s matches and black armbands will also be worn.

Tributes are continuing to pour in through social media website Twitter from a vast number of clubs and players.

Crawley Down Gatwick FC (OfficialCDGFC) tweeted: “The Anvils would like to pass on its condolences to the family of Peter Bentley after his passing today. #SussexFootballAmbassador”

Three Bridges FC tweeted: “It’s with great sadness to hear Peter Bentley has passed away in the early hours of this morning, We wish his family our condolence very sad.”

Storrington FC added: “Peter Bentley passed away last night. Done so much for football in the County. Thoughts are with the family and friends. #footballfamily”

Peter’s involvement with the Sussex County FA started back in 1975 when he was elected to council, and served on various different committees during his time; later, in 2003 being elected as chairman.

Earlier this year, following 13 years service to The FA, Peter was presented with Honorary Membership of The FA at a ceremony staged at the Sussex County FA Headquarters.

Peter played football for a number of years, spending much of his career at Haywards Heath FC.

In recent years Peter had vehemently campaigned against attempts to disband the Sussex County Football League and his death will be felt by a great number of people involved with football across the county.

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