“A loss for the entire football community”

The Sheppey Sunday League has paid tribute to Secretary Mark Rogers following his recent death.

Mr Rogers, 60, was a manager of Sheerness CC before joining the SSL Management Committee and was elected Secretary in 2006.

Mark Rogers with the Sheppey Sunday League 50th Anniversary award from the Kent FA in 2017. Picture: John Westhrop
Mark Rogers with the Sheppey Sunday League 50th Anniversary award from the Kent FA in 2017. Picture: John Westhrop

Mr Rogers was instrumental in arranging meetings with Swale Borough Council to secure the future of football in the area by ensuring there were enough pitches in good condition to play. He was the driving force behind the league which supported the Football Association’s Respect campaign which resulted in several awards including Best Adult Grassroots League in 2010. During his time as secretary, the league had great success on the field at the district cups.

A league statement said: “Without a doubt one of Mark’s proudest moments towards the end of last season was when he managed to be there against the odds to witness a historic event for the Sheppey Sunday League at where two teams from the Sheppey Sunday League battled it out in the final of the Kent Junior Cup with Range Rovers emerging victorious.

“Over his tenure, Mark developed close working relationships which have seen various opportunities over the years including the Cup Final return to the island to the home of Sheppey United after many years away.

“Players can now play on one of the best pitches – if not the best pitch – in Kent. Mark also entered into a historic agreement with Sheppey Rugby Club to allow a football pitch to be installed on the site.

“Mark also oversaw the biggest challenge the league has ever faced, in the form of Covid and the uncertainty it has caused.

“Mark made sure that all teams that reached the final in the shortened 2019/2020 season had their day off by making sure that all of that season’s finals were played after the 2020/2021 season and that he ran a competition for the last three months of this season to ensure teams had something different to play in another stop-start season.

He was more than competently assisted by his wife Lisa, who took on the role of league registration secretary and displayed the same passion and dedication to the league.

“Mark is a tremendous loss not only to the Sheppey Sunday League but to the entire football community across Kent,” the statement continued. “As a league we can only thank Mark for all the hard work and dedication he has put into making this league what it is today. It has been an honor to work with and alongside Mark and we will miss him greatly.”

Mr Rogers died on July 8 after a battle with cancer. His funeral will be held at Vinters Park Crematorium in Maidstone on Friday 5 August 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 show their love for West Ham United.

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