Former Rebels and Albion secretary Steve dies
FORMER Worthing Football Club secretary and lifelong Rebels fan Steve Rooke has died of cancer aged 57.
Steve started out as a trainee reporter at the Worthing Herald in August, 1976 and presented the Worthing Sports Awards, sponsored by the Herald, one year. He then worked in local radio for the BBC for 12 years.
During this time, he also became Rebels’ youngest secretary from 1981 to 1987 and then went on to be secretary at both Brighton & Hove Albion and Wimbledon, before a short spell with MK Dons. He was then chief exectutive of the Manchester FA and, since 2007, registrations manager for The FA.
In a tribute on Brighton & Hove Albion’s website, former Worthing and Albion manager Barry Lloyd, who Steve followed from Rebels to Brighton, said: “Steve was a lovely guy and when it came to his job, he was a real stickler for getting things right – a bit of a perfectionist – whereas I was the opposite, so it was a good pairing!
“When I moved to Brighton, I didn’t hesitate to bring him with me because I knew I had someone I could trust and rely on – especially in those days when you needed a close association between the secretary and manager when signing players, liaising with their families, and everything else that goes with it.
“I was disappointed when he left us, but he went with my best wishes, and although he was a straight-laced individual, give him a beer and you saw another side to him – a fun character who was great to be around.
“He had a real passion and allegiance to the game and will be sadly missed by all those that knew him. My thoughts go out to his family.”
Although sport was a big part of Steve’s life, he was also a loving family man, too. He is survived by wife, Kathryn, his children Daniel and Rachel, grandson Max and step-children Alex and Patrick.
Steve’s funeral will take place at Worthing Crematorium’s Kingswood Chapel on Monday (1.40pm) and will be followed by a reception at Findon Manor Hotel. All who knew Steve are welcome to attend, with donations to St Barnabas House Hospice.