Rangers football tournament will be fitting tribute to much-missed Dave

A memorial tournament is being staged by Lancing Rangers FC to honour club stalwart Dave Gurney.
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Dave was Life President and Club Founder but passed away in November 2019, and as a club they want to celebrate his life with a day of football.

He founded the club in 1982 and was a well-known figure around the community on and off the pitch.

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Plans for the memorial event in 2020 were scuppered but it will now be held on Sunday, May 1.

A Lancing Rangers presentation night from yesteryearA Lancing Rangers presentation night from yesteryear
A Lancing Rangers presentation night from yesteryear

Teams from the old Empire club, ex-players under 35 and over 35 and a managers/parents’ team will take part in the event at Sussex FA HQ at Culver Road, Lancing.

Dave founded Lancing Rangers with Derek Salisbury, Bill Edwards, Graham Willis and his wife Pat Gurney. Dave regularly visited Ibrox, home to Rangers FC in Glasgow, for work trips, hence the name Rangers featuring in the club’s name.

At the time Dave (right) had the idea, there was only one other team in Lancing offering football to kids. The club was officially affiliated to Sussex FA in March 1982.

Dave Gurney is much missedDave Gurney is much missed
Dave Gurney is much missed
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Most teams in the area wore either blue or red kits so it was decided that the club colours would be black and gold which has remained the colours of our home kit since.

Much of the early stages of the club’s formation involved fundraising and donations to ensure thy could maintain their status. Dave’s links with Rangers saw the Scottish club donate training balls to help out. Trips to watch football matches, fun days and barbecues became regular events to raise money along with the support of volunteers. Events such as the annual Presentation Evening and squad reps have stood the test of time and remain in place today.

Over 40 years they have organised tournaments for European youth clubs, they have held the FA Charter Standard Development status as a club for 15 years, and they have more than 200 children signed on across 15 squads.

A Lancing Rangers team from past daysA Lancing Rangers team from past days
A Lancing Rangers team from past days

Dave had a huge impact on football in of Worthing, Lancing and Sompting, managing Lancing Empire in the 80s and 90s, and ensuring youth football was available to all local children.

His wife Pat has been on the Lancing NSPCC committee for 37 years and is their vice-chair.

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