Petersfield tribute... Deans host Royals... Baffins eye upset

Horndean host AFC Portchester tonight
Horndean host AFC Portchester tonight
Brett Poate

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PETERSFIELD TOWN are to pay tribute to two long serving members of the club, with chairman Graeme Moir declaring ‘we will never see the likes of them again.’

Gateman Bill Underwood and former treasurer and secretary Brian Hall both died earlier this month and between them they have put in around 60 years of voluntary time with the Rams.

A minute’s silence will be held to remember the pair before tonight’s Ryman League division one central game at Love Lane against Hanwell Town.

Underwood had helped the club in several roles but it will be as gateman he will be remembered for most by those associated with Petersfield – a role he continued until only a few months before his death.

Hall had been involved with the club from the 1960s through until the early 1990s, holding several positions on the committee including treasurer and secretary.

Moir believes you won’t see many volunteering decades of their personal time again.

He said: ‘Non-league football has changed a lot – particularly since the era when Brian Hall would have been around Petersfield.

‘Back then people would commit long periods of their lives to their local football club or other sports clubs.

‘You don’t see it as much these days and I don’t think you will see it at all again once the generation of people like our secretary Mark Nicoll – who has been with Petersfield for over 30 years – moves on.

‘Non-league football has dramatically changed from their days.

‘Very few are in it for the long haul, some try it and soon discover it isn’t for them and others flit from club to club trying to settle in somewhere or following the money to get as big a pay day as they can.

‘It’s a real shame things are going in that direction but that is the law of the jungle these days and if you want to survive in that jungle you have to play by those rules.’

n Michael Birmingham is eyeing a Wessex League premier division double over his previous club as Horndean entertain AFC Portchester at Five Heads Park tonight (7.45pm).

The Deans beat the Royals in the opening game of the season – Birmingham’s first match in charge.

Division one side Baffins Milton Rovers host premier opposition Hamworthy United in the semi-finals of the Wessex League Cup (7.45pm).