Steve’s association with the club spans a decade, beginning in 2011 when he was appointed coach of the under-18’s by then manager Ian Hart. A measure of his popularity can be signified by the fact that he’s held the role ever since, despite numerous changes in management, helping the team in their run to the third round of the FA Youth Cup in 2015.
He was loved by all and his enthusiasm and dedication to the club was infectious Nathan Bowen
His commitment to youth football continued in 2015; following the formation of the club’s Development Centre Steve was one of the programme’s first coaches, another role he held to the present day.
Football Director, Nathan Bowen said: “Steve’s contribution to the club has been immense. He was loved by all and his enthusiasm and dedication to the club was infectious”.
“He was involved in all aspects of the club from coaching, match days operations, events and fundraising, Steve always did whatever he could to help others. He is a great example to us all and will be sorely missed by the football club and the wider community.”
His contribution to the club didn’t stop at coaching however – supporters visiting Woodside Road on matchdays will best know Steve as the enthusiastic voice sounding over the tannoy following a goal.
A DJ in his spare time, he spent the last five years in charge of music and announcements on matchdays as the club’s stadium announcer.
Club’s like ours couldn’t function without hard-working and dedicated volunteers like Steve George Dowell
One of his most memorable performances came in the aftermath of Jack Newhouse’s injury time equaliser against Burgess Hill Town in April 2017 – a goal that secured the club’s Isthmian League Premier Division status.
— Your Instant Replay (@YourInstReplay) April 18, 2017
Son Marcus is also a valued member of the club in his role as one of the club’s photographers, accompanying his father to cover many of the under-18’s fixtures down the years, as well as the first team.
Owner George Dowell commented “Club’s like ours couldn’t function without hard-working and dedicated volunteers like Steve”.
“Truly one of the good guys and always happy to help, we are deeply saddened by his passing and all our thoughts are with Marcus and the rest of his family and friends”.
Out of a mark of respect to Steve this evening’s under-18’s fixture with Burgess Hill has been postponed.
Everyone at the club is devastated by the news of Steve’s sudden passing, a hugely committed individual who’s contribution to the club over the last ten years has been immeasurable – his absence will be sorely felt for some time to come.
As Steve would say, “COME ON, YOU REDS!”.