Thu 9th February 2017 | Atherton Collieries | By Ian Templeman
Last weekend Atherton Collieries announced the sad news that Club President Dave Norris had passed away.
Colls Chairman Paul Gregory shares some memories of Dave in the tribute below.
It was with deep sadness that we learned our President David Norris passed away on Saturday 4 February.
Dave was a fine respected gentleman in life and throughout the football community.
Dave came into the Colls family many years ago. He attended a Colls game and showed an interest in the club. At the time we had one man and a dog watching aligned with dwindling committee. Therefore anybody who showed a modicum of interest was eyed up as a potential committee member.
I personally did not know Dave at the time, but our then chairman Steve Payne recognised him from his days as manager of Bacup Borough. After seeing the state of the pitch at the time, Dave volunteered to give some TLC to the poor playing surface and the rest is history. Two or three times a week he would travel from Standish to tread down the divots and do any tidying up the ground required.
Dave was still doing this every Thursday in the last few months of his life. He was also our host in the hospitality lounge at half time ad took the role very seriously. He treated everyone equally and respectfully.
It was a proud moment for myself when I became chairman and I could offer Dave the club presidency. He was proud to hold this position and was a great ambassador to the club.
There are many memories of Dave but one of my favourites was a trip to Leek CSOB one fine Saturday afternoon. He was a well travelled person, due to his job in the paint industry. He amazed everyone by never using a map to drive to any away games (sat navs had not been invented).
Leek had just been admitted to the North West Counties Football League and the majority of the limited travelling faithful had no idea where it was, it could have been on the moon as far as we was concerned. As usual Dave was the exception and he drove.
Dave, Steve Payne, the late Ernie Ackers and I set off to the far away land of Leek, all the way there he treated us to our personal tour guide. There was nothing that the man didn't know.
Ernie was particularly fascinated by this knowledge and decided to test Dave. So as we approached Leek he spotted a pub and said "I bet you know the landlord there". Ernie eagerly awaited the reply hoping he had at last caught the great man out. Not a chance was this going to happen as Dave replied that it was a pub he used on a regular basis before reciting the landlord's name and a bit of gossip surrounding the establishment.
Every single question we put to Dave on these away journeys up and down the North West motorways he had an answer for. Also there weren't many people he didn't know especially in the local non league game.
Dave will be sorely missed at the Colls, his knowledge of football and the diplomacy he brought to his position of President said everything about the man himself.
I hope Diane, Alison, Andrew and the grandchildren will still come and cheer on his beloved Colls.
Rest in peace Dave from myself and all at Atherton Collieries Football Club. The place won't be the same without you.
Dave's funeral will be held on Friday 17th February at St George's Church, St George's Street, Chorley, PR7 2AA. It commences at 11am.