TRIBUTES have been paid to former Suffolk player, administrator and referee Maurice Scrivener.
Maurice, a former Chair of the Suffolk & Ipswich League, passed away peacefully in Ipswich Hospital last Thursday. He had spent six weeks in hospital battling a respiratory illness.
Maurice, who was born in Ipswich on February 4th 1948, went to Northgate Grammar School after passing the 11-plus exam. At that time this was a Rugby only playing school – he could only play football evenings and weekends.
He excelled in Athletics at Northgate and sports days saw him win most of the year group sprints and his cousin Robert most of the middle-distance races!
Ian Smillie, who is the Suffolk FA Referee Appointments Officer for Saturday adult county cup competitions, was a cousin of Maurice.
He said: “Maurice, who was known as ‘Scrivey’ or ‘Mo’, was an incredible character leaving an indelible mark on all those who he was in contact with or met him in whatever context with a sharp wit but also with a caring, compassionate ability to communicate effectively whatever the circumstance or situation.
“Despite only playing Rugby at school he was an incredibly talented footballer playing as an amateur for Ipswich Town’s Youth team during the mid-60s in the Mercia League.
“Around the time that players such as Mick Mills and Colin Viljoen, who both became full England internationals, were in the same team.
“He was a noted player for (and later Secretary of) Whitton United FC. where his footballing talents did not go un-noticed, gaining international caps for England NABC, and scoring a hat trick in one of those matches against Scotland at Berwick Rangers FC. This led to interest from within the professional game but sadly nothing came of that.
“Maurice played with aplomb for many teams, Saturdays, Sundays and midweek scoring goals for fun but never changing his attitude towards the game and the enjoyment it gave him.
“He was an accomplished football administrator and his enthusiasm for the game saw him start up many teams, become Secretary, Manager and Chairman as required.
“He served the Suffolk & Ipswich League as a respected and distinguished Chairman (1998-2001) and in later years, worked with the Thurlow Nunn League as its Registration Secretary – all tasks he took to with the same organisational skills, wit and charm that followed him throughout his life.
“One role he really enjoyed was that of Referees Appointment Secretary for part of the area served by the Thurlow Nunn Youth League; there are many officials now operating at very high levels of the national and international game at professional and semi-professional levels of football were given their first chances by him in that League – their personal debt must be immeasurable but he didn’t do it for praise but gained so much satisfaction from what he’d contributed to.
“When he finished playing ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’, Maurice became a referee celebrating nearly 30 years of service to refereeing, through joint replacement surgery and latterly a fusing of his ankle and tibia bones which made him, in his words, “the best shuffler in town”.
“He was an incredibly well respected and liked match official, everyone was so pleased to see Maurice at their fixtures as they knew there would be respect to them, fair decisions during the game also with plenty of banter and quips before, during and after the matches!
“A players’ referee but make no mistake he did not suffer fools gladly.
“On a personal level I am incredibly proud that Maurice was my cousin, my ‘older brother’ and with what little I have achieved in the game on and off the pitch I often thought “what would Mo do here”; but he was a massive influence throughout my entire life not just on the football pitch.
“Maurice loved football and football loved him, there can be greater testimony than that and his death will leave a huge loss within the local and regional game.”
Maurice, who played squash for Suffolk and was also an accomplished tennis player, leaves behind his wife Amanda, son Lee and daughter Georgina along with their respective partners and his grandchildren. He doted on them all and was incredibly proud of their own individual achievements.
Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal added: “Maurice was such a prevalent character within Suffolk football, having served as a referee for 35 years as well as roles with the Suffolk & Ipswich League and Thurlow Nunn Youth League.
“His enthusiasm, commitment, and joy for local football will be sorely missed but fondly remembered. Our condolences and thoughts are with Amanda, Lee, Georgina and the rest of Maurice’s immediate and extended football family.”
All Macron SIL clubs have been asked to observe a minute’s silence before Saturday’s matches. A minute’s silence will also be observed before Saturday’s CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup and Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup Quarter-Final ties.
Maurice’s Funeral will be at 11am on Saturday, February 17th at the Seven Hills Crematorium, Felixstowe Road, Nacton, Ipswich IP10 0FG (just off junction 58 of the A14). Family flowers only please.
The wake after the funeral will be in the Sir Bobby Robson suite at Ipswich Town FC, with free parking arranged in the staff car park which is situated behind the Sir Bobby Robson Stand (South/ Churchmans), accessed off Princes Street and then off Portman Road. There are a full range of access and comfort facilities at this venue.
Maurice Scrivener (right) is pictured above receiving his Referees’ 25 Year Service award from Suffolk FA Chair David Porter (left) on the pitch at Portman Road in 2014.