Staines Town FC is sad to announce the passing at the age of 88 of its former Secretary, Jim Horne, on the morning of Sunday 16thJune 2019.
Jim was born on 16thDecember 1930, was brought up on a farm in Coulsdon, and had to leave formal education early because of the War. He later served with the Desert Rats (7thArmoured) in West Germany, as well as pursuing careers in farming, gardening, and nursing. He received several honours and recognitions, topped by being bestowed a Serving Brother of the Order of Saint John by the Queen in 1968.
A boyhood Crystal Palace fan, he first got personally involved in football as a volunteer with his local Corinthian League side Carshalton Athletic, going on to earn a First Aid certificate and to work with injured players.
Work took him out of the game for a period, but he returned with Hounslow FC, working alongside Physio Denny Collins. (He would return to Hounslow in that club’s final couple of years, as they battled, bravely but unsuccessfully, to stave off the loss of the Denbigh Road ground). His next club was Walton & Hersham, with whom he passed a physiotherapy qualification at Lilleshall, and where he formed an unlikely friendship with George Talbot that would last until George’s passing in 2014.
Following Talbot to Staines Townin 1981, it was at Wheatsheaf Park where he would become best known in Isthmian League circles, as he served as Secretary for seven years, followed by spells as a Vice-President (1991-2), and Trustee (1997-2006). In 1989 he was made a Life Member, and was a friend and follower of the Club up until his passing.
Jim was first elected to the Council of the Middlesex FAin 1986, and served for a remarkable 24 years until 2010, holding a wide variety of posts including at various times being on the Selection, Disciplinary, Grounds & Senior Status, Finance, and Youth Committees. But it was as Welfare Officer that he perhaps found his truest vocation, able to combine his football knowledge with his professional training in therapy and mental health.
When the family moved down to Gosport around the turn of the millennium, Jim became involved in Gosport Borough FC(and in fact organised a friendly with Staines Town there in 2001), but also joined the Hampshire FA, where he became their Benevolent Officer in 2006, having the rare distinction of serving on two county FAs at once!
Despite being in a nursing home for the past 2½ years, he retained a keen interest in football and his past clubs, especially Staines Town, and he and his daughter also sponsored a young female player Ini Umotong, who was shortlisted by Nigeria for a place in their squad for the ongoing Women’s World Cup.
In passing, he is survived by his wife Avice, and by their daughter Catherine and granddaughter Emma. Sympathies are extended to his family, including Catherine’s partner Ken, and to all of his very many friends in the sport, nursing, and the church.