It is with great sadness that we must report the recent passing of Bert Dearman, President of the Herts Senior County League and long serving member of Hertfordshire FA
Bert’s was a life devoted to football, beginning as goalkeeper playing for a number of local clubs including Chesham Town, Berkhamsted Town, Rickmansworth Town, and Kings Langley, as well as in the Army during his National Service.
When he retired from playing, Bert took up refereeing and worked his way up to being a referee on the Isthmian League in a 20-year career as an official, which also included the Herts Senior County League and Watford Sunday League.
When the time came to step back from active refereeing, Bert became heavily involved in referee development, both as a trainer to aspiring young officials and later as an Observer, a role which he continued until well into his eighties.
Widely involved in the administration of the game, Bert served on the Hertfordshire FA Referee’s Committee and Council for many years before becoming President of the Association and was a familiar face to many on the gate at County Cup finals.
At the time of his death he was also President of the Herts Senior County League and until very recently he would still travel from Watford to Welwyn to attend all their meetings, only considering scaling back his commitments as his health began to fail.
Richard Dowden, Director of Hertfordshire FA and Chair of the Referees’ Committee said:
“'I first met Bert about twenty years ago when he was my advisor at my first match as a Referee Observer. His support was invaluable as someone who had trained hundreds, if not thousands of new referees down the years.
Bert was an active member of the Referees' Committee and was our Chairman for about ten years until he reached the Council age limit. It is a measure of his enthusiasm that when the age limit was increased Bert came back on to Council again.
My favourite personal memories of Bert are from when he, myself, and Ken Coniam worked together at Cup Finals. We always had such a great time, with laughter all round.
It is such sad news that Bert has passed away, but the last few years were not easy for him both with his illness and that of his wife who I know he lovingly nursed until her death. A true icon of Hertfordshire football, may he rest in peace”.
Graham Phillips, Chair of Hertfordshire FA said:
“We are deeply saddened to hear that our dear friend Bert had passed away. His love of the game and commitment to inspire generations of Hertfordshire match officials leaves a legacy that will live on for many years to come. He will be sadly missed.
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 wish to pay their respects, the family have indicated that all are welcome to attend the service that will take place next month and share their memories of Bert.
Monday 13th September at 1:20pm
West Herts Crematorium,
High Elms Lane,
They have however requested that only family bring flowers and that others are invited to make a donation to Mind or a football charity in Bert’s honour.