Football: Stalwart Ernie was a ‘Prince among men’, says John Steele

Ernie Prince. Picture: Andrew Roe
Ernie Prince. Picture: Andrew Roe

The Doncaster Sunday Alliance Football League is mourning the loss of one its leading officials.

Vice-chairman and registrar, Ernie Prince, who was 67, died suddenly several days ago.

Ernie, who had spent many years on the committee of Doncaster’s biggest men’s league, took over as registrar at the start of the 2007-08 season. He was still an active referee at the time.

League secretary John Steele said: “Ernie was very passionate about grassroots football in general, and the Sunday Alliance League in particular.

“He was a driving force in helping to introduce ID cards, the use of IT for completing match report forms and registrations.

“He was also very popular within the football community, helping any club whenever he could, to find solutions to their problems.

“Whenever I attended matches on a Sunday morning with him, nearly all the players knew him and conversed with him.

“I will personally miss Ernie as a colleague and a close friend. He always had time to listen to me if I had an issue that I needed to discuss with someone.

“Often he would offer advice that I had not even thought of myself. He was a very calming influence.

“Ernie was truly a Prince among men, and his passing is a real tragedy for the Sunday Alliance League and local football in general.”

Free Press columnist Steve Hossack added: “I spoke with Ernie every week of the season during his time as registar and he was always a pleasure to work with. No matter what time of the day or night, he never complained about furnishing me with the information that I needed despite the fact it was quite a lengthy process. I will miss his dry sense of humour.”

* Ernie’s service will be held at Rose Hill Crematorium, today, at 12.20pm.