TRIBUTES have been pouring in for a well-loved servant of football on Portland.
Daughter Donna Marquis led the tributes to her father Barry Lawley, who was involved with Portland United Football Club for 50 years.
Barry started playing for Portland back in the 1960s and went on to have a successful spell as manager of the club before retiring in 2000 and turning his hand to promoting junior football.
Donna, whose memories include sitting on doorsteps with her dad waiting for people to come home so he could sign them, said: “Even when he retired he was still looking after the juniors and bringing them on.
“He was very dedicated to his football.”
A painter and decorator by trade, Barry was well loved by all he encountered in football circles and Donna said she has already had more than 200 people getting in touch to express their sympathies after he died last week at the age of 75 after a long illness.
She said: “The main thing everybody said is what a top bloke he was.
“It’s such a nice testament to him.”
Barry, pictured above in 1992, spent the last two weeks of his life at the Queen Charlotte Nursing Home in Chickerell but prior to that had spent 17 months at the Chalbury Unit at Weymouth Community Hospital after being diagnosed with dementia.
Donna said she could not praise staff at the unit enough for the way they had supported not just Barry but the whole family.
She said: “They are absolutely amazing people and they go above and beyond.”
Barry’s funeral will be held at All Saints Church in Wyke Regis from 12.30pm on Tuesday, March 18 and his ashes will later be scattered on the centre circle of the pitch at his beloved Portland United Football Club.
A minute’s silence was also held in Barry’s memory before the side’s match at Bridport on Saturday.
Former Portland United chairman Pete Turrell, who spent several successful years jointly managing the club with Barry, said: “The amount of people he helped through football is second to none.
“He was a one-off and everybody knows that.”
He added: “What he has done for Portland I don’t think anybody will ever forget.”
Darren Whyton, who helped organise a charity match in Barry’s name last year that raised around £800 for the Chalbury Unit, said: “He was a friend of the family for over 30 years and he was one of the nicest men anyone could ever meet. If you wanted something doing he would go out of his way to help out.”
LED BLUES TO A DOUBLE DOUBLE
A statement published on the official Dorset Premier League website said: “On behalf of officers and league management committee it is with regret that we announce the news that ex-Portland United stalwart Barry Lawley passed away after a long illness.
“Barry was a well-known figure at Portland United having been a player before becoming a joint manager with Peter Turrell, with whom he guided the Islanders to a double double, winning the league and league cup in seasons 1998/99 and 1999/2000.
“Our condolences go to all his family and friends at Portland United FC.”