IN MEMORIUM

Andrew Metcalfe (1950 - 2010)

ANDREW METCALFE: A Personal Tribute by Vic Duke

Andrew, the gentle giant, is no more. Never again will we witness his infectious laughter and bounding enthusiasm in the Bent Lawyer (his term), or on an Iron away trip.

His death, at the age of 59, comes as a shock to us all, for he seemed the fittest among us – half marathons and other races along with almost daily training runs. It was on a training run that he collapsed and died, presumably from a massive heart attack.

Amazingly I have only known Andrew for three years, ever since the crucial third division (old money) match against Nottingham Forest in March, 2007. We struck an instant rapport.

Boyhood memories of the Iron’s first period in the second division in the early 1960s were shared, recalling great times at the Old Show Ground. Moreover, we shared a mature excitement at the return of the club to the second division (twice), as the current team continue to punch above their weight. Andrew wanted to enjoy every moment of the Iron’s current golden period. Sadly he will not see it through to the end, for end it will eventually.

Andrew came to visit me in Hebden Bridge, with two of his friends from Stockport, only two days before his death. He wanted a day of real ale and World Cup matches. The date for his visit had been carefully chosen to coincide with the release of next season’s fixtures.

Our itinerary comprised Argentina v South Korea in the White Lion (first-half) and the Cross (second-half), plus Greece v Nigeria in the Fox and Goose (first-half) and the Railway (second-half).

As ever, Andrew found time to chat up the buxom barmaids in the White Lion and the Railway. Most important of all, in between the various games and hostelries, we plotted our expeditions to watch the Iron next season. In the early part of the season, Andrew looked forward to going to QPR (where we had a great day last season) and Sheffield United. There will be something missing at these games now.

Andrew was a giant of a man, but very gentle with it (indeed we made an odd couple – Tiny and very Tall). I never heard him utter a violent thought, not even in relation to the Codheads. A decent man, he was kind, caring and sociable.

Always courteous, Andrew made a point of talking to any away fans in the Lawyer or an away pub. I remember well the way he looked after a bleeding Burnley supporter, who had been attacked by Scunthorpe’s moronic minority.

Andrew loved his real ale, but most of all he loved the Iron, and the fact that the club is enjoying a golden period. Above all else, as SULSESC members who knew him can testify, he was great company and will be sorely missed.

Andrew in Newcastle before United's visit to St. James Park

Andrew on the way to play Luton at Wembley

At the SULSESC match sponsorship against Bristol City in April where Andrew (centre) is pictured with fellow SULSESC members, from left, Matt Gray, Dave Payne, Bob Dook and Darren Robertshaw.