Tributes pour in for St Albans football club volunteer Clive Churchhouse

PUBLISHED: 14:00 19 July 2017

The stand in Clarence Park. Photo: DANNY LOO

The stand in Clarence Park. Photo: DANNY LOO

Archant

Tributes have been pouring in following the tragic death of a long-standing St Albans football fan who fell to his death from the roof of the club’s stand.

Clive Churchhouse, 71, from Redbourn, died on Tuesday, July 18, after falling from the roof of the building in Clarence Park.

A relative, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “He did so much for the club and Clarence Park, and if you are to going to go, it’s a nice place to die.”

East of England Ambulance Service were called to the park at 10.18am on Tuesday and sent a rapid response vehicle, an ambulance, and the air ambulance. They were also joined on the scene by police officers.

Mr Churchhouse was airlifted to St George’s Hospital in London, but he died later that afternoon.

Herts Police are now preparing a file for the coroner, and a spokesperson said: “His next of kin are being supported by officers.

“The death is being treated as non-suspicious.”

The Health and Safety Executive has also been informed, but said the responsibility for the investigation ultimately lies with St Albans district council.

SADC’s head of community services, Debbi White, said: “The council is the enforcing authority for health and safety at leisure facilities, such as sports grounds in the district.

“We are therefore carrying out an investigation to establish the facts surrounding the incident.

“The stadium is owned by the council as trustee, but licensed to the football club, which is responsible for maintaining the buildings.”

Born and bred in St Albans, Mr Churchhouse had volunteered at SACFC for over 50 years.

He made tea and coffee for the players during half-time, and bacon sandwiches for when they played away.

SACFC chairman Lawrence Levy said: “We are all completely devastated by the news.

“Clive was a much-loved character around the club with a big personality.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Valerie, daughter Sallyann, son Keith and his grandchildren, as well as his wide circle of friends at this very sad time.”

SACFC’s former co-manager Graham Golds tweeted on Tuesday: “Very sad to see the news about Clive Churchhouse, I’ll never forget his unwavering support of [Jimmy Gray, former co-manager] and I.”

Mr Gray tweeted: “Can only echo Graham’s words, [Clive] supported us from youth team to first team. I was only speaking to him last week in the builders merchants where he was getting stuff for the stands. Such a tragic loss.”

The club’s match with Luton Town on Tuesday was cancelled out of respect.

Luton Town and Hitchin FC, who Luton played instead, stood for a minute’s silence to remember Mr Churchhouse.

Luton’s manager Nathan Jones said after the match: “It was a difficult one today and our thoughts go out to the family of the person who passed away, and also to everyone at St Albans City Football Club.

“These things are tragic events and all our thoughts, especially from the first team but everyone at Luton Town, go out to those involved.”

Hemel Hempstead FC released a statement online, saying: “Hemel Hempstead Town FC are this evening in mourning for a much loved, local football fanatic, and real life gentleman.

“Clive Churchhouse was a loyal and well-known SACFC fan and volunteer, devoting his time to his beloved Saints in various roles.

“His cheerful personality and knowledge of football often lifted spirits on the coldest of winter evenings.

“We will miss talking to him through the games and sharing a tea with Gentleman Clive.”

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I had been wondering if she would be there. I had encountered what looked like the remains of her feasting along the path. The telltale circle of piled feathers that indicated a pigeon devoured, plucked breast up, the carcass taken for final pickings by its captor.

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