Roger Addems was one of those few local sports legends about whom nobody would have a bad word - Ken McEwan

Roger Addems
Roger Addems

The death of Roger Addems will be mourned by sports lovers throughout Eastbourne and beyond, writes Ken McEwan.

For Roger was the great gentleman of local sport, dedicated to the welfare of Eastbourne Town Football Club and the Saffrons.

I first knew Roger when he was manager of Town back in the eighties. He was always a joy to deal with, never shirking any of the awkward questions which managers are regularly asked. Whatever answer he gave, you knew it was an honest one.

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For many years, soccer and the Saffrons hierarchy were at loggerheads and for some time the future of the sport at this famous ground was very much in jeopardy.

But Roger’s steadying influence was adept at bringing warring factions together. His calming influence and quiet sense of humour took the heat out of many a delicate situation.

His was a valuable voice for football on the Saffrons committee and he was later to play a huge part in the installation of floodlights, something that many thought would never happen. Roger’s negotiating powers appeased complaining residents living close to the ground and his ability to see both sides of any argument proved a key factor.

When the Saffrons faced further challenges in bringing the ground up to the standard required by the FA and the County League Roger, along with his great friend Roger Cooper, were quick to step up to the plate.

They led the way in making the Saffrons what it is today, a superb soccer, cricket and hockey venue. When you think of the Saffrons, the two Rogersimmediately spring to mind..

Roger Addems was one of those few local sports legends about whom nobody would have a bad word.

In any dispute, Roger was the voice of reason. He held many influential positions and was president of Eastbourne Town FC at the time of his death.

To say he will be missed at the Saffrons is an understatement. Life there will simply not seem the same without him.