2nd July 1956 - 9th May 2013
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
DSA 1st June 2013
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.