'He endeared himself to everyone' - Tributes paid to Norfolk football referee
PUBLISHED: 11:05 13 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:06 13 September 2018
Tributes have been paid to a popular football referee known for his good humour and dedication to the sport.
Steve Boddy, from Littlefields in Dereham, died yesterday after a battle with esophageal cancer, aged 62.
His daughter, Catherine Boddy, said her dad would be sorely missed.
She said: “He was a really humorous, lovely guy and I’m really proud he was my dad. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend and father.”
Mr Boddy moved to Mattishall from Essex when he was a child and had lived in Dereham since 1979.
He was caretaker and transport manager at the Dereham Community Hub for 21 years, a job Catherine said he loved.
He married his wife Linda in 1976.
Paul Sandford, chairman of the Dereham Taverners Football Club, said Mr Boddy - a lifelong Norwich City fan - had a huge impact on local football.
Mr Sandford said: “He was a good friend as well as a really good referee. He did a lot for local football behind the scenes that people don’t realise.”
“He was a very well respected - always one to have a bit of a giggle with you the pitch.
“He was not a disciplinarian like some of them are, which went a long way.
“He endeared himself to everyone and he was a very well thought-of man.”
Mr Boddy was on the committee of the Central and South Norfolk League and he refereed across Norfolk.
Mr Sandford said: “He would have refereed most teams at some point and I would expect a massive turn out to his funeral.”
Norfolk Football Association chairman Michael Banham said Mr Boddy had been a “fantastic servant” of local football for more than 30 years.
Mr Banham said: “He consistently refereed over 50 matches per season and would happily travel long distances to cover matches.
“His commitment and enthusiasm to Norfolk football was second to none and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him and our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”
Catherine said her dad had a soft spot for several clubs, including the Taverners and Longham.
Julia Harvey, the Hub’s service manager, said Mr Boddy would be a “hard act to follow”, and he would be remembered with a party in celebration of the fun he brought to the workplace.
She said: “He enjoyed the job and the banter with the staff and customers alike. He was known for his jokes and was very passionate about the service.”
Mr Boddy also leaves three grandchildren: Erin, 17; Jack, 14 and Leah, 13.
Longham will have a round of applause in tribute to Mr Boddy before a game on Saturday at the University of East Anglia, at 3pm.
Would you like to pay tribute to Steve Boddy? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 07584 311481