Saying in with flowers – Portchester community’s tributes to Steve Woods
The club and the wide football family across the area are in mourning after the Royals' life president's passing last week, aged 61.
Woods had AFC Portchester running through his veins, giving 30 years of service to the community club.
Whether it be playing an influential role in Castle Royals merging to fall under the Portchester youth section banner, running age group teams or holding treasurer and chairman roles with the senior side, Woods had virtually done it all with the club he loved.
Following news of his passing, messages came flooding through from social media while tributes were left at the stadium gates over the weekend.
As a result, chairman Paul Kelly has kept the ground opening for periods during the day all this week.
The stand is now awash with cards, messages and memorabilia and Kelly says it just goes to show how much his good friend meant to the community.
'It’s terrible news for everybody,' he said.
‘Everyday I’ve been up the club this week and there have been people crying in front of the stand.
‘He’ll be incredibly missed by everybody.
‘He was a really big character and it’s just hard to take in.
'Steve was a great man. He had so many friends from around the community for all his hard work around the football club and a local school (Northern) as well where he was a one-time governor.
‘Friday and Saturday we were inundated with messages.'
When AFC Portchester were honoured with the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2011, Kelly said it was fitting Woods was present at Buckingham Palace for the ceremony.
Despite bad health in recent times, he still continued with club duties - and Kelly says he'll never be forgotten by the Royals.
He added: ‘The ethos of the club was that we’d never turn anyone away.
‘There was always a space for any kid and Steve would be down there every single morning rallying the parents around to try to manage a team so kids wouldn’t be left out.
‘That was the proudest moment in the club’s history, receiving the Queens Award for Voluntary Services.
‘Fittingly, although we had a nice-sized committee, Steve was one of the first names on the list to go.
‘The past sort of 18 months he had to take a backseat because of ill health, but he was still heavily involved but more through the electronic way as opposed to being at the club in person. He’s always been in the background.'