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Remembering Former General Secretary Angelina - Obituary by Johnnie Walker

By Hackney & Leyton Sunday Football League, Nov 29 2019 04:17PM

Of all the obituary’s I have written regarding past Committee Members who have sadly passed away, this is the hardest one that I never imagined that I would be writing,

and I am sure our readers will understand my reasons for stating my difficulty in talking about my beloved Daughter Angelina who passed away at the comparatively young age of fifty four.

Angie was a member of our Management Committee for just a few short years. She could have served the League for more years than she did but as a single parent in full time work and managing to raise two sons, who were always going to be her number one priority and pride of joy, it was sometimes impossible for her to carry out certain tasks and duties that applied to her position on the Committee.

However, Angelina was dedicated and full of ideas as to trying to improve the running of the league. I didn’t always approve and sometimes argued with her, but she was a bright kid and always stood her ground, always opinionated and spoke her mind, especially on Match Days where she would get between teams that were arguing with each other at or near our admin table in the Hackney Marsh Centre foyer. She reminded me of our beloved Jack Walpole, who would never back down whenever it came to a conflict, and as a consequence I felt for her safety when she was in the middle of a shouting mob and seemed to be handling the situation OK, and as for arguing I could see myself in her.

I have heard her on the phone for ages trying to calm an angry Club Secretary who had phoned her in a raging temper about some decision or other arrived at by the Committee. I am sure she was enjoying it.

Her greatest achievements happened when I was taken ill and had to have a serious operation that nearly killed me but even so I spent months in hospital away from my duties. Angie helped the league enormously in the days of my absence and always kept me informed and up to date with anything that I should know about. However, Angelina apart from being hard working as a teaching assistant, also a single parent at a school for problem kids and a full time Mother struggled to keep up with the beaurocratic spiel pouring out from the FA, and I agreed with her, it was becoming like a full time job and of course, her boys were more important to her and prioritised her time.

Eventually she gave up the post of General Secretary, but even then she carried on with some of the General Secretaries’ duties. She still phoned troublesome clubs and pestered them till they paid any fines still outstanding or pitch permit money owed. She still attended all the meetings and tried to be at the marshes on Sunday mornings to help Ted, especially when he was getting his ears caned by some irate secretary disputing what they owed. Angie just used to usher them away, after all, she was used to handling problem kids at her school all week.

Naturally she was upset that she had to resign as General Secretary, but her popularity was such that we found the need for a new officer to be added to the Committee, a Welfare Officer, so she was proposed and it was carried unanimously at AGM Part 2, 2018.

I knew however, that Angelina would not be entirely happy with being just a Welfare Officer she was far more ambitious than that and often remarked that she would aim for a higher office whenever she had more time at her disposal. That pleased me a lot, knowing that I could eventually retire and be assured that the League would be in safe hands, my Angie was very transparent, and even though she was argumentive she could handle taking up any one of the Senior Posts on the Committee.

Sadly it was never to happen, Angelina passed away after she suffered a massive stroke from which she never recovered consciousness, no one had any idea that she was not well but she was watching her son Antonio play football at the time she was taken, how ironic that she passed away watching football and I have been left with just my memories of my little baby who I loved dearly who became an adult and incurred many problems in life as we all do.

This obituary should have been much longer, and indeed it would have been if Angie had lived to serve our league for the many years of life expectancy.

She will always be in my thoughts and in others who knew her well and loved her like I do.

Johnnie - League Chairman

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