Nothing in life can prepare you for what has happened in the last week. The sadness that has consumed all of us at Huish Park has been overwhelming – each of us attempting to cope in our own different ways. In the depths of this darkness though I think is it important to acknowledge just how many people have messaged, called and paid their respects to the man we called captain. On behalf of all the players and the management team we cannot thank you enough. The support and love you have offered, once again, demonstrates the power of football and the family it creates.
The ground has been flooded with flowers, scarves, shirts and messages paying respects to Lee. Seeing this visible representation of our shared love for Lee grow day by day, has brought me great comfort. Huish Park is where I spent the majority of my time with Lee, and at the moment this is where I feel his sudden loss most intensely. But this is also where I’ll always feel closest to him. So, sharing this space with so many moving tributes from the fans helps all of us here feel slightly less alone in our grief and for that we are deeply grateful.
In respect to Lee’s teammates, they are all dealing with his loss in their own individual way, and we will do all we can to support them through this immensely challenging time. One of Lee’s teammates recently described Lee as “our glue” and I take great comfort in thinking of him in that way. What better tribute could there be to our captain than that – through his immense skill as a leader he brought the changing room together and when necessary, kept it in line! Even now as we process his loss, we are united again through Lee with our fans and with his family. Once again, he is “our glue”.
I would like to take the chance to thank the National League and all the clubs that have held a minute’s silence in Lee’s honour over the last week. It is obvious that Lee had a huge effect on everyone he came across and all the wonderful football clubs he represented. We are very grateful for the love and support.
As you would expect Lee’s wonderful family are rallying round each other and learning how to cope and move forward in their new reality. I would ask that we continue to respect their privacy at this difficult time and allow them the space they need. But I would like them to know that the YTFC family is and will be here for you whenever you need it. We take care of our own here and Lee was and will always be one of our own.
Lastly, to Lee. I want to thank him for his unwavering trust and loyalty over the last 20 months. To say we were close is an understatement, he was and is ‘MY GUY’. I will remember his strength of character, his undeniable playing ability and his will to win. It will always make me smile when I reminisce about our times together behind the scenes at Huish Park and I know all those that shared a changing room with him will understand this sentiment and feel the same. He was one of a kind and I will miss him greatly.
Lee and I came here to win, to achieve and create the most wonderful lasting memories, and that is what we are going to do, with our #4 always by our side.