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'A loss to the whole football community' - Sheppey Sunday League pay tribute to secretary Mark Rogers

The Sheppey Sunday League have paid tribute to secretary Mark Rogers after his recent death.

Sixty-year-old Mr Rogers was manager of Sheerness CC before joining the SSL management committee and in 2006 was elected secretary.

Mark Rogers with the Sheppey Sunday League's 50-year award from the Kent FA in 2017. Picture: John Westhrop
Mark Rogers with the Sheppey Sunday League's 50-year award from the Kent FA in 2017. Picture: John Westhrop

Mr Rogers was instrumental in setting up meetings with Swale Borough Council to secure the future of football in the area by ensuring that there were enough pitches in good condition to play. He was the driving force behind the league embracing the Football Association’s Respect campaign which led to several awards including best adult grassroots league in 2010. During his time as secretary the league have enjoyed great success on the pitch in the county cups.

A league statement said: “Without doubt one of Mark’s proudest moments came towards the back-end of last season when he managed to be there against all odds to witness an historic occasion for the Sheppey Sunday League with two teams from the Sheppey Sunday League battling it out in the final of The Kent Junior Cup, with Range Rovers coming out as winners.

“Throughout his time, Mark developed close working relationships that brought about various opportunities over the years, including the return of cup finals to the Island at the home of Sheppey United after many years away.

“Players now get to play in one of the best grounds - if not the best ground - in Kent. Mark also formed an historic agreement with Sheppey Rugby Club to bring the installation of a football pitch on the grounds.

“Mark also oversaw the biggest challenge the league has ever encountered in the form of Covid and the uncertainty that was brought about by it.

“Mark ensured that all teams that got to the finals in the curtailed season of 2019/2020 had their day out by arranging to play all that season’s finals after the 2020/2021 season, as well as implementing a competition for the final three months of that season to ensure the teams had something else to play for in another stop-start season.”

He was more than ably assisted by wife, Lisa, who took on the role of the league’s registrations secretary and matched the same passion and commitment for the league.

“Mark is a tremendous loss to not only The Sheppey Sunday League but also to the whole football community across Kent,” the statement continued. “As a league we can only thank Mark for all the hard work and dedication that he put in to making this league what it is today. It was an honour to work with and alongside Mark and we will miss him enormously.”

Mr Rogers died on July 8 after a battle with cancer. His funeral will be at Vinters Park Crematorium, Maidstone, on Friday, August 5, at 11.45am followed by a wake at the Red Lion, Blue Town, to celebrate his life. Friends are asked to wear claret and blue to mark his love of West Ham United.

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