It is with great sadness that we must report the recent passing of Denis Jackson MBE, President of the Watford Sunday League and long serving member of Hertfordshire FA
In his youth Denis was a referee who rose through the ranks from local leagues to officiate at a senior level for many years. He had the honour of running the line at Wembley in 1969 before being forced to retire with a back injury the following year.
In subsequent years he dedicated himself to supporting aspiring officials, running training courses and acting as an assessor for over 25 years, attending fixtures across the county and providing feedback and advice to countless referees.
Denis was also heavily involved in the administration of the grassroots game in his local area, serving on the committees of various leagues over four decades including the Olympian, West Herts and the Watford Sunday leagues.
He joined Hertfordshire FA in 1975 where he contributed in a number of capacities, including serving as Chair of the Referees Committee and was subsequently made a Life Member of the Association in recognition of his long and loyal service.
Denis was someone who had a lifelong passion for football and who dedicated himself to helping others enjoy the game he loved right to the very end. His contribution was considerable and indeed was awarded the MBE for services to the game in 1998.
John Rowbotham, Chair of the Watford Sunday League said: “Denis was a true gentleman who was always available to offer advice and guidance, which due to his vast knowledge and experience was always of great benefit.
He gave so many hours in promoting and supporting local football, offering balanced views and generally encouraging players, club secretaries and referees alike. He will be sorely missed by everybody within in the local football scene.”
Brian Curtis, Chair of Hertfordshire FA said: “We are deeply saddened to hear that our dear friend Denis had passed away. He will be fondly remembered by many here who had the pleasure of working alongside him. His commitment to grassroots football was unwavering and his legacy in the game will live on for many years to come”.
Everyone at Hertfordshire FA sends their sincere condolences to his family and friends and our thoughts are with them at this most difficult time.
For those that would like to pay their respects to Denis, his funeral will take place at 11:00am on Thursday 7th March at St Mark's Church, Leggatts Way, Watford, WD24 5NQ.