Funeral of Doncaster Rovers media man Steve Uttley to take place today

Dozens of mourners are expected at the funeral of former Doncaster Rovers media manager Steve Uttley today

Wednesday, 23rd March 2016, 8:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2016, 5:52 am
Steve Uttley
Steve Uttley

Players and officials as well as supporters are expected to attend the service for Mr Uttley, 58, who died earlier this month from a massive heart attack.

The service will take place at 11.30am at Barnsley Crematorium, Doncaster Road, Ardsley, Barnsley.

The public service, which is open to supporters, will be followed by a private wake. Mr Uttley's partner Carol Smith posted on Facebook: "The funeral tea after will be for family and close friends only. Family flowers only please. Any donations in lieu of flowers would be gratefully received and forwarded to the British Heart Foundation and The Pleasley Pit Trust."

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Mr Uttley was a familiar face to thousands of Rovers supporters during 14 years at the club as official club photographer and media manager.

Partner Carol Smith broke the news on Facebook hours after the tragedy on March 6 writing: "I'm sorry to share that Steve my partner for the last 6 years and best friend who I loved dearly passed away very suddenly from a massive heart attack. His family and I are all devastated by his loss."

Steve, who also ran his own photography business, charted the rise of the club from the Conference to the Championship and captured some of the most remarkable moments in the club's history on camera including the League One play-off final victory over Leeds at Wembley in 2008, the Johnstone Paints Trophy win over Bristol Rovers at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in 2007 as well as Rovers' run to the Carling Cup quarter finals in 2005.

Steve was also part of the Doncaster Rovers team which conquered the Inca Trail in South America, joining players James Coppinger, James O'Connor and Mark Wilson for the gruelling expedition which raised thousands of pounds for charity.

He left the club after a few years ago and had been working for League Two club Mansfield Town in a similar capacity.

Mexborough-born Steve, who lived in Mansfield, ran his own photography business and in his time at Rovers, was charged with putting the matchday programme together, arranging interviews with players and managers and helping to promote the club both locally and nationally.

Despite being a huge Sheffield Wednesday fan, he was also heavily involved in the production of Rovers World magazine, the publication produced by the club and Doncaster Free Press during the club's days in the Championship and was a staunch member of the National Union of Journalists.

Fans staged an impromptu tribute to Mr Uttley at Rovers' game against Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park with supporters chanting his name during the 14th minute of the game - to mark his 14 years at the club.

At last Saturday's game against Peterborough United at the Keepmoat Stadium, fans staged a minute's applause, players wore black armbands and Mr Uttley's photo was displayed on the big screen prior to the match.