SWINDON & DISTRICT FOOTBALL LEAGUE WALL OF FAME
Jerry Welch (31th Dec 1937 – 19th Nov 2018)
Jerry passed on 19th November 2018, at The Prospect Hospice, aged 80 years. He was a respected gentleman in the football world.
In 1981/82 Jerry used to go to watch Liden United on the Liden School playing field, close to where he lived. Jim Thorn now the Wiltshire County Senior League Secretary, was then the club secretary of Liden and remembers that Jerry became more involved with the club, and became notorious as the club linesman.
Liden won promotion to the Wiltshire League from the District League in the 80’s and, after a couple of seasons (before the pubs were open all day) the players were lured away by another Club who had a bar.
The players that remained joined with Oldacre FC and became Oldacre Reserves with Jerry as Team Manager. That only lasted a year or so, when the former Liden Utd players came back, wanting to start again with Jerry as Team Manager. Genesis FC was formed, and played in the Swindon and District League.
Genesis were runners up in their very first season in Division 3, then won Division 2, and Division 1 in 1990-1991
|DIVISION 1 1990 – 1991|
|LOWER STRATTON RES||18||12|
Remarkably the following season Genesis went on to win the Premiership.
The following season Genesis could not quite reach the heights of the previous season finishing runners up to Monkey Club.
During this time, Jerry also assisted with the running of Gamekeeper FC, a successful Sunday League side which several of the Genesis players had joined. So his weekends were pretty much taken up with grass roots, clearly he couldn’t get enough.
Wanting to help with sustaining and improving local football Jerry joined the Swindon and District League committee in 1993. He liked being involved with Representative matches as he thought it was a great way of the District League getting noticed throughout the area. He was held in high esteem for the way he handled his role as the Discipline Secretary, and also for his passion for equality back then. He became League vice-Chairman from 1999, and took over the Chair in 2004, to this day. We all respected his knowledge and experience and looked to him for guidance when discussing the tough decisions to be made.
Jerry accepted a position at the Wiltshire County FA in 2000, where he served on many Sub-Committees, including, League Sanctions, County Cups, Youth, Discipline, and Development. He was Chairman for County Cup matches for 8 years. He was also the Equity/Equal Opportunities Officer and involved with Women’s Development in Football. The first black man to serve on the Wiltshire FA Council he was a well respected member not only in Wiltshire but throughout the Counties in the South West of England where he will be sadly missed
Jerry touched the lives of many in football and was a good friend to all. In the 80’s, there weren’t many black players and even less Club Officials, but that was never an issue with Jerry as he only gained respect for his hard work and friendly nature.
On Saturday 24th November 2018 all teams playing in the District League paid their tribute to Jerry with a minutes silence before the game.
Grassroots football has lost a great man.
Hon. General Secretary
Swindon and District Football League