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Greg Pymm on the left (with his fellow coaches)
The football club was devastated at the recent passing of Greg Pymm who managed the Penn Rangers junior football team for nine years from 2006, and was an incredible support to the club. Greg was not a standard manager in this modern day of football – his idea of a perfect training session was 100 burpees then a kick around. Earn the right to train with a ball.
But Greg was not the coach, he left that to his two assistants. Greg managed. And he had such a skill and art to it. My personal competitive spirit was always to win, but for Greg he wanted to give any boy who wanted to play, the chance to play, often to the detriment of the results. That’s not to say he didn’t enjoy a win, rare that they were. One season we remained unbeaten for three months, and he loved every minute of it. Albeit it was a very cold snowy winter and we had actually only played two games. But worth celebrating nonetheless. Needless to say, his Rugby background kicked in. The boys all still trained in the snow.
He had a simple philosophy for what we were doing, that came back to his boys, Harry and Thomas. Get them out their bedrooms and off the Xbox. A philosophy we should all share. He was often a taxi service, picking up and dropping off boys on Saturdays and Sunday, to ensure they got to training and matches, with a magical car boot full of random football kit. Somehow, he managed to rotate a squad of over 20 boys every week, yet somehow never lost the trust, goodwill, nor commitment of the boys. Something I’m sure Jose Mourinho would like some tips on today.
Greg and his wife Jackie involved themselves across the Football Club, especially during the annual football festival. He would be there all-day Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, often with a mallet in hand to put up another fence pole, or save the falling down ones. Jackie saved many a tournament organizer with her ability to get people to actually help on the day, even on the bouncy castle. They never wanted anything in return and certainly no compliments. Greg delivering everything with his own special kindness and humour.
So many of that Penn squad, now approaching 20 years of age are still great friends and that is the biggest testament to how special Greg was. He had a hand in bringing up so many boys, but more importantly he made them all better people. There is no trophy that can ever better that.
The whole club offers our love and thoughts during this difficult period to Jackie, harry and Thomas
James Keating – Coach with Greg