Club pay tribute to ‘Mr Oakwood’ Alf Bridges

Oakwood first team pay tribute to Alf Bridges SUS-181016-092813002
Oakwood first team pay tribute to Alf Bridges SUS-181016-092813002

Oakwood paid a two-minute silence to their founder Alf Bridges on Saturday before the start of their game against Seaford Town.

The first teams of both sides joined with Oakwood under-12s, officials and representatives from the Sussex FA Les Kempster and Barrie Munn to remember the man affectionately known as ‘Mr Oakwood.’

Oakwood pay tribute to Alf Bridges L to R: Barry Munn, Gez Manville, Mark Gilbert, Toby Gilbert, Les Kempster SUS-181016-092802002

Oakwood pay tribute to Alf Bridges L to R: Barry Munn, Gez Manville, Mark Gilbert, Toby Gilbert, Les Kempster SUS-181016-092802002

A wreath was laid in the centre circle before the silence which was followed by a round of applause.

General manager and first team manager Mark Gilbert said: “The atmosphere was very respectful, cheerful and very moving.

“Alf and his wife Pat did a hell of a lot for Oakwood and sport in general.”

As well as running the football club, Alf previously was a long-serving referee and oversaw matches at Brighton’s Goldstone ground.

No Caption ABCDE SUS-181016-092833002

No Caption ABCDE SUS-181016-092833002

He received a special award from the FA for completing 50 years’ service to football.

Tom Agate gave Oakwood an early lead which was cancelled out by a goal by Seaford’s Steven Stracey.

Carlos Anderson made it 2-1 to the visitors before Michael Smith equalised for the Oaks in first half added-time.

These events were followed by the game itself, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

Tom Agate gave Oakwood the lead in the eight minute, which was cancelled out by a goal by Seaford’s Steven Stracey on 22 minutes.

Carlos Anderson made it 2-1 to the visitors before Michael Smith equalised.

Manager Mark Gilbert revealed: “We were all over them at the start before they equalised with a 35-yard screamer. Both sides scored another goal each and in the second half they cancelled each other out.

“The game sadly featured an injury to Joel Mann who broke his wrist and I would like to thank the Seaford physio as well as a spectator, Joe Kane, who is an ex-ambulance paramedic for treating him. He was then driven to Crawley Hospital and is doing well.”

Oakwood: Grimstone, Saurombe, Mann, Gallagher, Manville, Agate, T.Gilbert, Smith, Saunders, Nourse, Drammeh

Subs: Gomes, Ciontu-Ionut

Attendance: 50

Alf Bridges’ funeral will be held at St Margaret’s Church, Ifield on Thursday, October 25 at 12.30pm.

People attending can meet at Alf and Pat’s house in the Dingle, West Green and can follow the hearse to the service.

It will be followed by a private burial at Snell Hatch Cemetery in West Green at 1.30pm.

A wake will be held at Oakwood Football Club in Tinsley Lane where all are welcome.