NORMAN FRENCH – 1937 – 2019
It is with extreme regret that on Tuesday 16th July 2019 we were notified of the sad passing of our founder, president, mentor and friend Norman French.
Norman was an absolute legend who introduced thousands of people in some form or another to football and his legacy lives on through the club.
He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him and the wider youth football community.
On behalf of everyone with Byron Red Star FC we pass on our deepest sympathy to his family. Norman you will be missed!
Last year was fantastic year for Norman and the club with the club celebrating our 50th anniversary and with Norman being recognised by the FA by receiving the Order of Merit for 50 years’ service to youth football.
Norman French at the age of 31, having played for clubs such as Melbourne Sports (alongside Jimmy Greaves), Navestock and Park Royal, he noticed talented young players on the green outside his house.
He decided to form the boys into a league team, Byron Red Star, a combination of the name of his road (Byron Avenue) and his dad’s team (Plaistow Red Star).
Norman started as manager, treasurer, secretary and chairman but, as the club grew, he’d spend more time doing what he loved the most: training the youngest players as Manager.
Thousands of boys have played in Byron’s teams, some to appear at professional level, including Clive Allen and Paul McKenzie. Byron Red Star were also once a feeder club for Bobby Robson at Ipswich Town.
In 2012, Norman was rewarded for his outstanding contribution to grassroots football by the BBC Unsung Heroes Programme, carrying the Olympic Torch through Romford.
He continued to be actively involved with the club until a couple of years ago when ill health forced him to step down, although he was still the club’s president until his passing.
Rest in peace Norman, you will forever be in our thoughts !