lester clements

Lester Clements

By Jon Pike
It is with very great sadness that we announce that Lester Clements has passed away.

Please be advised that the details of Lester Clements' Funeral are as follows:

Date: Wednesday 27th February
Time: 11.00 am
Venue: St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol (12 Colston Parade, Redcliffe, Bristol BS1 6RA)

There will be buffet afterwards in the church itself where are all are welcome to attend; this will of course be non-alcoholic.

It is with very great sadness that I have to tell you that Lester Clements, Somerset FA Representative Team Secretary, Councillor and to many of us, friend, has sadly died. His son Nicholas informed us that he passed away early on Saturday morning in hospital. He had been due to have a stent fitted this week but had felt unwell and had been taken into hospital in advance of that, his condition had not improved and it was felt that the surgery should go ahead as it may improve his condition; sadly this was not that case.

Lester had been a member of The St Johns Ambulance Brigade in his youth. After 2 years national service, he worked in a gentleman’s outfitters in Midsomer Norton. In 1956 he became a full time member of the Somerset Ambulance Service (where he would later be promoted to Station Officer and then Control Officer) putting to use his skills and experience from his days with St Johns.

In 1964 his work skills saw him appointed trainer (the fore runner of Physio) for Welton Rovers. A year later Somerset FA Secretary Lew Webb invited him to take up a similar role for the Somerset FA Representative side that played in the Southern Counties Competition; he accepted and started an involvement with SFA and representative football he would retain for over half a century.

In 1976 he became trainer for the County Youth Team which he would carry out for 25 years and in the early 1990 he would succeed Dimmock Green as County Representative Team Secretary, a post he would retain for the rest of his life. During his tenure as County Representative Team Secretary he saw the transition away from adult to youth teams and the addition of women’s representative football, every team was treated with the same importance, a Somerset FA team. Many of you will know the hours he put into this, even in his late 80’s and his attention to detail, his passion for representative team football remained undiminished as did his pride for a Somerset victory. 

Lester Clements 50 Year Award

Lester receives his 50 Year Services to Football Award from Somerset FA President, Francis Hillier.

He was also a member of the SFA Council, joining in 1999, this would have been his 20th year and he would have become a life member at the end of next season. He attended every council meeting and was a member of the Disciplinary committee as well, of course, as the Representative Team Committee. In 2004 he was made a Vice President of Somerset FA.

During his tenure he also maintained a strong link with club football, in 1979 he left Welton to join Keynsham Town, initially as trainer, however during his time with the club he would go on to serve as both club Secretary and then President; he then became a trustee of the club

Lester also represented Somerset FA on the South West Counties Championship, (the successor to the old South West Counties) when he joined the Management Committee in 1990. In 2000 he was elected secretary of the competition serving in that role until 2009. Upon his retirement as Secretary he became a Life Vice President. For Lester this was not simply an honorary position and he continued to attend management committee meetings till the end, the last being at County HQ the week before last.

His contribution to football in Somerset was recognised two years ago when he received a, services to football award in the SFA County Awards. He was also the very deserving recipient of the FA 50 Year Service award, presented to him by SFA President Francis Hillier 2014.

The list of achievements, while impressive, go nowhere close to summing Lester up. He leaves a massive gap in our County Representative Team committee, there is a Representative Team Committee meeting Wednesday week for which he had already phoned the county office numerous times to make preparations, and before his planned operation, was organising the coach for our upcoming under 16 rep team match in Dorset. As well as missing his energy and enthusiasm along with his organisational skills, we have lost a great supporter of football in Somerset (woe betide anyone who thought Whitchurch in Bristol where he lived was not part of Somerset, he was always keen to make clear the south of, as he called it, the “eternal” city was our side) and representative football in particular. He was one of the most honest and genuine people in football and those who had the pleasure of meeting him will have been benefitted by doing so. To most of us who knew him he was a very dear friend.

We would like to pass on our sympathy to his 3 children and his grandchildren. At the moment we do not know the details of his funeral, (although being Lester he had also planned this, giving me a draft order of service several years ago, with the only gaps being the date), we will of course publish these details as and when we get them.

We will all miss him.