A Tribute to Jim Edmondson
By Keith Marsden
In the 1980’s we were frequently short of referees and so Jim, who was the League’s Referees Secretary, would often call on me to fill in at my club Bedians. The phone would go on Saturday morning, my daughter would answer it and then shout “It’s for you, Dad. It’s that man with the laugh” and I knew it was Jim. A very appropriate description of a lovely man.
His work as Referees Secretary was nothing short of amazing as there was no software to help him, no Internet, no email. He and his wife Margaret used to spend lots of hours on a Sunday assigning referees to matches and then handwriting postcards to all the referees and clubs informing them of the next Saturday’s appointments. His phone line was extremely busy too but there was never anything other than a cheerful answer, no matter what problem he was confronted with. Jim also kept huge ledgers recording the details of all the appointments and the marks awarded to referees for every game. These are now stored with the League’s historical records in Stockport Heritage Library.
Jim was my predecessor as League Chairman and once told me that he would be glad when I took over as he regarded himself as a “backroom boy”. That is a complete understatement and Stoconians know only too well of his immense contribution over so many years. His pots of tea at Hillcrest Road were legendary and he was a regular attendee at the Annual Dinner well into his nineties. “The man with the laugh” will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
Well known by all the current league committee and many club officials, Jim was an outstanding, dedicated servant to both club and league, and his legacy are the many successors following him to keep this wonderful game thriving.