Seaham Red Star pay tribute to Smith

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SEAHAM Red Star will remember club stalwart John Smith, who died last week, at this weekend’s home Ebac Northern League match against Stokesley SC.

Both teams will bear black arm bands and a minute’s silence will be held in respect of Star’s former chairman, secretary and committee member, who had served the club since 1996.

Smith’s first involvement with the club saw him take over the running of one of the junior teams in the Russell Foster Youth League, and he was quickly press-ganged onto the Red Star committee.

In the close season of 2000, he took on the chairman’s role, which had become vacant due to the previous incumbent taking over the position of president.

Smith held the post for two of the most uncomfortable years in the club’s history. After finishing runners-up in the First Division, the club suffered its first ever relegation in its near 30-year history.

Even worse was to follow when, as a result of dwindling committee support, officials took the reluctant step of tendering the club’s resignation from the league. At this point, Smith, with help from a few local people, formed a new committee and the resignation was withdrawn.

Smith carried out the secretary’s role for the next eight seasons, before stepping down in 2010, but he continued to work tirelessly for the club as an active committee member.