Published: 10:49, 26 January 2021
| Updated: 11:03, 26 January 2021
Tributes have been paid to the president of the Maidstone & Mid Kent Sunday Football League, who has died aged 70.
Mick Filmer was described as “a person we all looked up to, a true friend and colleague and incredibly well respected” by league chairman David Boughton, following his death yesterday.
Filmer was an excellent footballer in his younger days and his goalkeeper skills meant he was in huge demand, plying his trade on a Saturday and Sunday in Maidstone.
“His real passion, though, was becoming a referee,” said Boughton.
“He picked up his whistle when he was 30, going on to referee for over 30 years.
“So many players and club officials will have come in contact with him, and no one had anything but kind words. He was so well-liked.”
Filmer became the league referees officer in 2008, a position he held for 10 years, before becoming president.
Boughton said: “Having personally known Mick for 35 years, he wanted the best for everyone.
“A thoroughly decent man, held in the highest regard, and is irreplaceable in his contribution to football in Maidstone.”
League secretary Steve Taylor holds fond memories of Filmer, who was known for his dislike of the cold and talking football with a bottle of Coke in his hand.
“Mick was a lovely bloke, an all-round decent guy,” said Taylor.
“He was great with the new refs, always very encouraging.
“He’s say before the game, ‘Do your best, don’t let them get you down’ and after the game he’d be the first one to ask how it had gone.
“Everyone has their memories of Mick. I always remember he never used to drink.
“He’d be sat talking about his beloved Man United with a full-fat bottle of Coke. He wouldn’t drink anything else. It had to be full-fat Coke and it had to be out of a bottle, it couldn’t be a can.
“Another thing is he never liked refereeing in the cold weather - there wasn’t an ounce of fat on him and it used to cut him in half.
“He’d have his gloves and about three jumpers on.
“He’d still get out and watch, all wrapped up, but he much preferred refereeing when it was warm! He’ll be sorely missed.
“He’s up there with the greats of local football, people like Ernie Martin.”