For St Albans City FC the last week was about only one man; Clive Churchhouse, long-time, committed volunteer, who died in a tragic accident at the ground during the summer. The game against Gloucester City was dedicated to Clive and saw the home end being renamed the Clive Churchhouse Terrace with Clive’s family in attendance as guests of the club. And the following Tuesday those connected with the club were guests of Clive’s family at his funeral. I’m not sure if ‘good’ is the most apt word to describe a funeral, but if ‘good’ is shorthand for poignant, insightful, gently witty and touching, then Clive’s was most definitely a good one.
Clive was the man who, amongst the many things he did for the club, sold the golden goal tickets that always get mentioned in TLF’s match stats. Buying them now doesn’t feel quite the same.
Back in 2013/14, TLF’s first season as TLF, I wrote a blog describing the many volunteers I encountered between turnstile and bar, all of whom wanted to part TLF from her cash. Clive was one of them and at the time, I had this to say,
“At this point I think my moolah is safe. Trouble is that Clive, golden goal salesman supreme has an innate ability to not only hear a pound coin at 20 paces, but also spot a sucker with an open wallet and bear down on them with a serious turn of speed and focus. Unlike raffle ticket and programme sellers who tend to be a bit more static pre-match, Clive is on the move, so you can run but you can’t hide. And soon enough. BOSH! The two pound coin and the foolish fox are soon parted.”
It was a privilege to know Clive, albeit fleetingly, and it was a privilege to be able to attend his funeral and to hear so much about his life by those who knew him best.
Good night good sir.