Mind the church! The death is reported of Terry Keating - a legend in local football circles and a much-loved and respected family man

By Nub News Reporter

8th Jun 2023 | Tributes

Terry Keating: He made the microphone on matchdays at Rookery Hill his own.
Terry Keating: He made the microphone on matchdays at Rookery Hill his own.

THE death has been announced of one of the founders, longstanding official and stalwart supporter of East Thurrock United Football Club.

Terry Keating is widely known in local non-League football circles and spent decades as a follower of the club, helping them rise from local Sunday football to the heights of the National League South.

He had many roles in the club, including secretary and he is the author of the club's official history.

His death this morning (Thursday, 8 June) was announced by his wife Simone who said: "It's with great sadness I announce the passing of my soul mate, best friend and husband, Terry Keating.

"He passed peacefully this morning, after a short illness.

"He loved his family, his football and our dogs and will be so missed by us and his many friends."

Terry with 'Saga Louts' on a trip to an away game.

For more than a decade, during the club's most successful period, East Thurrock United was managed by John Coventry, who today paid tribute to Terry, saying: "Terry has a very important hand in almost everything that East Thurrock United achieved.

"Aside from his family, it was probably the most important thing in his life and he gave everything he possibly could to the club.

"From humble beginnings to the second tier of non-League football Terry was there - not just for the journey - but helping make things happen.

"He was a true supporter in every sense of the word, driven by a passion and love for the club that I don't think was matched by anyone else.

"I know he is going to be missed by so many people. My thoughts and deepest condolences got to Simone and Terry's family.

"I don't have the words to express my gratitude to Terry. May he rest in peace and I am sure all his friends and acquaintances will raise a smile if I recall his favourite saying 'Mind The Church!'.

"Never to be forgotten. RIP Terry."

Terry Keating (centre) accompanied by the Saga Louts, including Nub News editor Neil Speight, on a trip to Bath City.

Nub News editor Neil Speight, who followed in Terry's footsteps and was secretary at the club for for a decade, was one of a number of 'older generation' supporters who were nicknamed the 'Saga Louts' by Terry.

He recalls: "I have been involved in non-league football for most of my life, up and down the country. Rarely have I met someone like Terry who put his whole life into the club he loved.

"As it grew in stature and importance you could see his sense of pride and achievement.

"He was genuinely someone who deserves that all-too-much used word 'legend.' One of a kind.

"The Saga Louts are starting to dwindle in numbers and now the leader has gone, but the spirit and the love of the game will go on while-ever there are people like Terry about. He will be much missed by so many people."


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