Tributes paid to giant of Lowestoft football community

Dennis Meadows, pictured left, served Suffolk FA for over 60 years.Photo: Mick Howes.

Dennis Meadows, pictured left, served Suffolk FA for over 60 years.Photo: Mick Howes. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a devoted stalwart of the Lowestoft football community.

Dennis Meadows, president of the Lowestoft and District Referees Association, died on Saturday, July 6, after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. He was 88.

Dennis was a long-serving member of Suffolk County FA, initially as a referee between 1950 and 1980 and as a senior assessor there after.

He previously received a special award celebrating his 50 years of service from Suffolk FA.

Richard May, referees appointment secretary, said: 'I've known him since I was 15 and I'm 75 now. He was always friendly and approachable with a witty sense of humour.

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'Dennis was the kind of person you wanted to be in the company of - he will be missed enormously by everyone involved in football in the Lowestoft community.'

Dennis was born in Lowestoft in 1928. He was evacuated to Diss during the Second World War and still kept in touch with those he met.

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Between 1946 and 1950 Dennis completed his national service serving in the RAF. He had two children, Hugh and Rebecca from his first marriage in 1954.

Since 1984 he was happily married to Doreen Meadows - who survives him.

A prominent businessman, Dennis owned a number of Lowestoft businesses including Frank Coleby Sports - which he owned with his son Hugh from 1985.

During his time as referee Dennis appeared at all of the region's major grounds including Norwich City's Carrow Road and Ipswich Town's Portman Road.

Hugh said: 'One his highlights was refereeing Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst after the 1966 World Cup.

'He was a fair, decent bloke and a fair referee - not dictatorial.'

Dennis mentored referees beginning their careers. Hugh said: 'Many of the younger referees came to visit him when he was in hospital because they were so grateful for all he had done for them.'

The Norwich City season ticket holder was also president of the Lowestoft and Oulton Broad Motorboat Club.

Mr Meadows' funeral will take place at on Gorleston Crematorium, Bunnewell Avenue, on Tuesday, July 25 at 3.10pm followed by a wake at Parkhill Hotel, Lowestoft.

All are welcome.

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