LOCAL sport will be bidding a sad farewell to Alan Frederick, doyen of Southampton Schools’ football for close on 60 years and popular bowls enthusiast, tomorrow.

Mr Frederick died recently, aged 83 years. His funeral is at the Wessex Vale Crematorium, Bubb Lane, West End at 1.45pm.

Affectionately known as Mr Southampton Schools, he beavered away tirelessly in the shadows for six decades to give unstinting and unwavering dedication to schools' football in the city and the county.

The English Schools' FA recognised his 50th year of involvement in 2010 by presenting him with an inscribed glass bowl – Mr Frederick at the time describing the award as “very special.”

“It is always nice to be recognised and I was rather pleased about the ESFA award because it’s a rare thing. There are perhaps only six other people in the country to have got one of those,” he said.

Mr Frederick began his long association with Southampton Schools in 1960, combining his secretarial work – he was also treasurer for over 40 years – with refereeing.

He officiated the England-Scotland Schoolboy International at Wembley Stadium in 1970.

During his time at the helm, Southampton reached the ESFA Under-15 Trophy semi-finals five times, with numerous household Saints names including Graham Baker, Francis Benali, Paul Bennett, Nick Holmes and Spurs’ Graham Roberts playing for the city sides.

Holmes, now living in Florida, reflected: “Mr Frederick was always a very encouraging and calm individual who passed on much wisdom to us all.

“The year I spent with them will always bring back happy memories and became a major factor in the way I played the game.”

Tomorrow’s funeral service will be followed by a wake at Atherley Bowls Club in Hill Lane, Shirley, where Mr Frederick was a popular member or many years.