Eastbourne Borough in mourning for stalwart Stan

Eastbourne Borough Football Club have announced that popular and long-serving committee man Stan Eavis has died.

Stan Eavis, in the blue shirt on the right, enjoying a Borough awayday
Stan Eavis, in the blue shirt on the right, enjoying a Borough awayday

The club described him as 'a football committee member; meeter-and-greeter of visiting club officials and sponsors; life-long supporter of non-league football, and friend to all at Priory Lane and beyond. A charming man, ever courteous and friendly and wise'.

A tribute on the club's website by Kevin Anderson said: "Stan was active as an official and board member with more than one non-league club, initially in the Berks and Bucks region where he lived and spent his working career, before moving to the South Coast and 'adopting' the Sports.

"Supporters and club officials have many memories of Stan. Not necessarily a fund of outrageous anecdotes or incidents, because he simply wasn't that sort of chap. All football clubs, sports clubs, social groups have their share of larger-than-life characters, with a very public persona. But they also have - and they are founded on - dependable, unobtrusive, efficient, cheerful, hard-working individuals. They find their particular role and they get the job done. Stan was exactly that sort of man.

"The particular role that Stan Eavis found for himself was the genial, courteous 'match-day face of Eastbourne Borough' . In fact Stan pretty much invented it. Immaculately smart, utterly unflappable and unfailingly courteous - the habits learned in a professional lifetime in chauffeuring - he was always in place, well before time, to welcome our opponents on a match day, and to host a whole range of guests and sponsors.

"And it was more than just a face. Stan was genuinely interested in other people, ever happy to exchange anecdotes and memories, drawn on a lifetime spent in this wonderful and unique non-league world of ours. He was also the most reliable of helpers-out when office tasks were needed, sitting in the club office, answering the phone or dealing with correspondence. Never the noisy extrovert, always the quiet doer.

"As he eased into his 80s, Stan quite rightly eased back a little from some of his club duties. But in non-league football, you never quite retire, and the hosting duties - for Stan, more a pleasure than a duty - continued in the Legends Lounge and the boxes up in the Mick Green Stand.

"Stan, you go with our respect, affection and our tears. We thank you, we send our loving wishes to Angie and all your family, and - perhaps appropriately to a man who in that former life was that courteous and immaculately presented chauffeur - we salute you."

Eastbourne Borough fans and members have been adding their memories to the tributes...

"He was just a thoroughly decent and pleasant man, always polite and unruffled and, as far as I know, never upset anyone. Real old school!"

"RIP Stan, a lovely man always came to find me in the ground to say hello..."

"Another one of the old school Borough boys passed . Always remember Stan dressed impeccably smart every match day greeting our opponents dignitaries. RIP Stan."

"Such a lovely kind man who will be missed very much. Sending love to Angie and family."

"That's all of Box 4: Dick Blake, Mike Spooner, John Byford, and now Stan. The end of an era! R.i.p. to all."

"So sad - such a lovely man. Shared many a cheese and wine on coaches to away matches and enjoyed his and Angie's company on many occasions."

"Had known Stan for many years, I was a referee on the Southern League & always had a chat and a drink after the game. Very well liked and respected in the Berks & Bucks area (where Stan lived and worked). Met him many years later down at the Borough, and often had a drink & reminisced in the clubhouse after the game."

A final tribute comes from Kevin Curling: "So sorry to hear the sad news about Stan. I’ll miss the old boy - I liked Stan, he was a proper friend of mine, always really interested to know how you were and always really interested to know what you thought about things. Now that’s rare.

"I can’t offer a vast array of anecdotes - Stan wasn’t that kind of fellow - other than that he was a great bloke to take to away matches. He had a fantastic knowledge of all the side roads and short cuts around London, by virtue of his days as a chauffeur to the biscuit man, but whether is was Mr Huntley or Mr Palmer, I can’t quite remember.

"Stan was really nice man. He was ‘old school’. He was a thoroughly decent man, always friendly, honourable, modest, and always interested in you rather than himself. “Cheers Stan - good on you”."