Clubs pay tribute to Birstall mum who was a 'true grassroots football hero'

Ursula SpencerUrsula Spencer
Ursula Spencer
Almost £4,000 has been raised in memory of a Birstall mum of three with a passion for junior football who died last month, aged 52.

Ursula Spencer, who was secretary of the Huddersfield and District Junior Football League, died after a short illness.

A JustGiving fundraising page has raised just short of its £4,000 target.

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Michael Mannifield, who set up the JustGiving page, described Ursula as a “true grassroots football hero”.

Ursula had been secretary at the junior league since the 2017-18 season and confided she was “never really that much into football” until her husband Jonathan did some coaching and her sons Herbie and George started playing.

Speaking in April, Ursula told of her passion and said: “My enjoyment is driving past a pitch hearing parents cheering their kids on, the sound of the referee’s whistle and then seeing the kids laughing and smiling.

"That’s a wonderful thing and it’s great to think I played a very small part in making it happen.

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“Really it’s the coaches of all our clubs who deserve the credit.

"They set up training sessions in the week and organise the kids to play. They are the ones giving up their free time and without their hard work we wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing.”

The West Riding FA described Ursula as a “true grassroots hero”.

White Rose All Stars JFC said: “Ursula dedicated so much of her own time to ensure the best possible environment for the next generation of footballers.

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"Her passion, enthusiasm and dedication is one we all look up to.”

Ossett Town Juniors said: “This lady did so much for junior football in this area.

"But away from football she was a great woman and had a wicked sense of humour. Never afraid to say it how it is.”

Ursula's funeral will take place on Friday, September 17 at Huddersfield Crematorium at 10.45am.

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