Chelsea DSA - Tributes
 

Gerry Bowell
2nd July 1956 - 9th May 2013

Chelsea DSA are shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden passing of committee member and lifelong fan Gerry Bowell. Gerry departed this world just 6 days before our victory in Amsterdam, an occasion which he was greatly looking forward to, and one that was marked by his friends displaying his ‘blind Gerry’ personal banner at the match (pictured above with Gerry standing in front). However, it does seem quite fitting that he died with this club as reigning European Champions.

Gerry was born on the 2nd July 1956 in the Lambeth area. At the age of seven, Gerry was diagnosed as having diabetes and he was to eventually lose his sight in 1979. He was then working as an electronic engineer - servicing hospital monitoring equipment.

With the loss of his sight Gerry had to totally rebuild his life: He retrained and from college worked for a time with the charity ‘Action for Blind People’ but he soon found the work unchallenging and left. He secured a job as a telephonist with a bank for a number of years and when made redundant went to the Millennium Dome when it first opened looking after lost children. His final job before early medical retirement in 2008 was with a firm of solicitors in Fresh Fields as a telephonist.

Gerry loved his guide dogs and his fourth dog ‘Bill’ has been his constant companion. It was at the Guide Dogs training for his 2nd dog that Gerry met Sharon in 1992 and they married in November 1996. It is probably fair to say that his blindness gave him an impetus that spurred him on and he certainly would not let it beat him. This could make him very stubborn at times and want things done his way – but this was all part of his single-mindedness and positive drive. There are memories of Gerry abseiling down buildings like the Lewisham Tower for charity, driving around Brands Hatch, participating in Skiing holidays for the blind but most of all it was his determination to follow our club that took him abroad over a period of 34 years, attending more than 50 matches, and to most home and away games in this country for some 36 years. His passion for this club consumed him; his house is one magnificent tribute to the club and its players.

He was a much valued member of this committee. He served in the first committee from 2006 – 2008 and was invited back last year to serve again. His experience in dealing with visually impaired facilities at the different stadiums all over the country and in Europe was invaluable and he had just compiled a dossier of these for the club to refer to when issuing match tickets to our visually impaired supporters.

It was Gerry’s great personality that drew people to him; he was kind and helpful, belonged in an active way to the Neighbourhood Watch, good at DIY and as his family testifies a very good cook. Gerry loved his family greatly and always sought to do the best for them and especially for his daughters.

His funeral was held on Wednesday 29th May at Eltham crematorium and as you would expect there was a significant Chelsea feel and theme: Some of the mourners wearing Chelsea shirts or draped in Chelsea flags, many stories Chelsea related, the entrance song ‘The Liquidator’ by the Harry J. Allstars, and the final music ‘Blue is the Colour’.

Gerry will be greatly missed by this committee, the club in general, all supporters that knew him, his many friends and mostly by his wife Sharon and their three daughters Laura, Chelsea and Hannah.

 

Chelsea DSA 1st June 2013

 

Michael Beever
1957 - 2011

 

Chelsea DSA have recently been informed of the death of committee member Michael Beever. Michael suffered heart failure and passed away in April; aged 53. Michael had an older brother and 2 younger sisters and leaves 2 daughters.

Michael was born in Wimbledon, moved to Raynes Park when he was 10, and then back to Wimbledon in 1996. His first job was as an apprentice Glazier with a London firm called Clark & Eaton. He obtained a qualification from them in Glazing and he stayed in the glazing business all his life.

He played football for a team called The Beverley. His love for Chelsea began when he was a small boy and in the 70’s and 80’s he would watch matches from the Shed terrace.

In 1996 he lost his leg due to a deep vain thrombosis he got flying aboard an aeroplane. He did not let his disability stop him from doing things and his love for Chelsea never waned. Michael travelled both near and far to watch his beloved blues. In this country it would be White Hart Lane or Old Trafford, and in Spain and Italy he would follow the team in the Champions League. He joined the first CDSA committee when we were formed in February 2006 and he served successfully for the set 2 year period. He applied again after 2 years and was selected to serve again.

In 2007 he became a season ticket holder. He used to sit in the East Stand to watch matches and then moved to the West Stand where he watched the games for the last 8 years of his life with his daughter Michaella as his Personal Assistant.

He had a Zest for life despite his disability. He loved organising social events, was, for a long time social committee member of Raynes Park Social Club, where he organised day trips to the seaside, weekends to the Isle of Wight, theme nights, discos and trips to the races. He holidayed abroad including trips to Las Vegas. He joined 'Amputees in Action' and took part in training exercises with the army, which included him being air-lifted by helicopter, as a casualty in a mock up war zone.

Michael will be missed greatly by his 2 daughters, other family, friends, all his fellow Chelsea fans that knew him and everyone here at the Chelsea Disabled Supporters Association.

Chelsea DSA 18.08.11

 
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