Glowing tributes have been paid to a well respected and dedicated football club stalwart after his sudden death.

The long-serving secretary of Waveney FC, and vice chairman and fixture secretary of the East Point Sports Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League, Dave Beecher died at his home in Lowestoft on November 10.

Hailed as the "backbone" of FA Charter Standard Community Club, Waveney FC, for his tireless hard work and off-the-field efforts, devastated club officials said Mr Beecher's loss "will be felt throughout the whole local football community."

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Waveney FC logo.Waveney FC logo. (Image: Waveney FC)

Providing football in Lowestoft for more than 40 years for those aged three upwards, currently Waveney FC boasts more than 45 youth teams for boys and girls, six adult teams both male and female offering senior and local league football including veterans, U18s, disability football and walking football groups as well as a thriving Saturday morning football club.

Mr Beecher has played a vital role in its development, with officials describing him as a "great ambassador for the club."

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Norfolk and Suffolk Youth League logoNorfolk and Suffolk Youth League logo (Image: Norfolk and Suffolk Youth League)

He had also been heavily involved behind the scenes for well over a decade with the East Point Sports Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League - which is enjoyed by thousands of aspiring footballers aged from six upwards across Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, Beccles, Bungay, east Suffolk and east Norfolk each weekend.

Mark Gamble, chairman of Waveney FC, said: "It is with extreme sadness and a heavy heart to announce that Waveney FC club secretary Dave Beecher passed away on Thursday, November 10.

"Dave was the club secretary and backbone of the club for over 20 years and performed his role with compassion, integrity and the utmost dedication.

"He guided the club through many of the changes and challenges which grassroots football has experienced over those 20 years.

"Dave was not only a wonderful man and dear friend to all who knew him, but was also a very committed football person, not only within Waveney FC but also local football.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: In 2018, Dave Beecher was presented with a 10-year service award for his involvement with the Norfolk and Suffolk Youth LeagueIn 2018, Dave Beecher was presented with a 10-year service award for his involvement with the Norfolk and Suffolk Youth League (Image: Waveney FC)

"He sat on the committees of the Norfolk and Suffolk Youth League, for which he was vice chairman and fixture secretary, as well as the Lowestoft and District League sponsored by Lauren Lou Cancer Fundraising."

Mr Gamble added: "Dave had time for everyone, and his vast knowledge of local football made him well respected across all formats of the game which the number of tributes pouring into the club will testify.

"It goes without saying that Dave’s loss will be felt throughout the whole local football community, but more importantly he was a loving family man and our condolences and thoughts are firmly with his wife Jill and the family."

All of the scheduled Waveney FC club games will be postponed this weekend "as a mark of respect" to Mr Beecher, who was also a former higher education curriculum quality manager and tutor at Lowestoft College.

Mr Gamble said: "I am grateful to all of the various league secretaries and Suffolk County FA for their compassion and understanding at this very difficult time."

Tributes paid

With the football community rallying round to pay tributes, a spokesman for the Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League said that after the passing of "our fixture secretary and vice chairman David Beecher, as a mark of respect all matches this weekend are cancelled.

"We ask clubs to observe this request."