Friday 9th March 2018 Godalming Town Football Club said a final goodbye to their legendary president Bill Kyte, who died on 4th February, aged 98.
In a moving ceremony held on the pitch at their Wey Court ground, bedecked in his beloved Godalming’s green and yellow, supporters, past and present committee members, former players, friends and officials from both the Combined Counties League and the Surrey FA joined with Bill’s family to celebrate this remarkable man’s life.
‘Mr Godalming Town’, as he was known, had been the president of the club for an astonishing 57 years and it is no exaggeration to say that without Bill’s extraordinary tireless contribution there would be no football played at Weycourt today.
Bill Kyte was a proper ‘hands-on’ President. The main stand, the barriers and the surrounds of the pitch, all were his work and anything he couldn’t achieve himself was completed by an army of willing volunteers, swept up by his irresistible energy and unflagging enthusiasm.
He believed passionately in the benefit of sport and gave himself selflessly to further the cause of local football and Godalming in particular. In 2012, this contribution was recognised when he was awarded the Slyfield Trophy for ‘Outstanding Service to Sport in Godalming’.
Advancing age came as nothing more than a minor inconvenience to Bill and even at the age of 96, he still could be found on his tractor, happily trimming the Weycourt grass. It was fitting therefore, that his final wish was that the same tractor would bear his coffin onto the pitch for the final goodbye to his life’s work.
The family has lost a loved one. The club has lost a hero. The community has lost an inspiration.
As a tribute to Bill we will be naming the ground the Bill Kyte Stadium.
Message form Mike Palmer (Ex chairman and secretary of the Club
“Being a previous Secretary and Chairman of the Club, Pauline and I knew both Bill and Bet for well over 40 years, as we attended many Club functions together, and developed a very close friendship. (Sadly Bet died on Christmas Day 1980) and since then Bill has devoted all his time to the Club in so many ways. Our thoughts should now be with Bill’s three daughters. Joan, Doreen and Pat, together with the family.
When the club moved to Wey Court in 1972 Bill was virtually the driving force behind the very major projects necessary to comply with standards set by the various leagues. If he thought something needed doing he would go ahead and do it off his own back. Whatever he was doing a gang of willing workers was always there to work alongside him.
Over the years, Bill was invited to become vice-president of both the Combine Counties League and the Surrey F.A. He was highly respected in football and liked because of his down to earth attitude.
Nothing was impossible for him. He was loyal, reliable an determined. He was an incredible man and will be greatly missed.” – Mike Palmer
Bill Kyte Godalming Town President