Terry Pierce - There's more to life than football
Published: 16 Aug 2010 - 10:49:50
As I headed home from another defeat last Tuesday evening, listening to everyone moan about a Carling Cup exit on the local radio phone-in, a bad start to the campaign after making the play-offs last year seemed pretty important.
I then jumped on-line for some post-match reaction, and was suddenly faced with the news that Adam Stansfield had lost his battle against cancer, and football didn't really matter anymore.
Ask anyone that had the pleasure of meeting Adam and they'll all say the same thing - he was a thoroughly nice guy. In the sporting world of massive egos - at every level - Adam was a throwback. He had time for everyone, and didn't feel as if he was owed anything. Instead he worked hard for every single minute of his playing career.
He had entered the professional game late and, because of that, he seemed to cherish every moment of doing something he loved. I had the pleasure of watching him on a number of occasions, and what he lacked in talent he more than made up for in passion and humility.
I remember Exeter making the trip to Swindon at the back end of last season, on a Monday evening, and it was the first game after Stanno had been diagnosed.
The party line then was that he hoped to be fit for the new season following an operation, and that the diagnosis was positive. He even turned up for pre-season training in July, which summed up his character.
However, his condition deteriorated quickly, making his passing even more tragic. A measure of the man could be seen across the West Country in the days following his death, with fans from his former clubs Yeovil and Hereford mourning his passing while messages of condolence have flooded in from across the game.
On Saturday afternoon, both clubs paid tribute to their former striker, while Exeter postponed their scheduled fixture as a mark of respect.
Adam was just 31, and leaves wife Marie and three young children. He will be sorely missed by everyone connected to Exeter City and the wider West Country footballing community.
Tragically, Adam was not the only man connected to lower league football to pass away last week. Southampton owner Markus Liebherr died suddenly of reported natural causes, leaving everyone at St. Mary's devastated.
Liebherr bought the club last summer and saw his new side lift the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in his first season at the helm. I’m sure his legacy will be there for all to see on the South coast over the coming seasons.
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- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:terry pierce
- Terry was born and bred in Wiltshire, and is a massive Swindon fan - travelling the length of the country most weekends to watch the 'mighty' Reds. He also manages a successful(ish) Sunday league side, and his life pretty much revolves around football. Five-year-old Terry was in the crowd when Swindon won promotion to the Premier League in 1993 with a 4-3 play-off win against Leicester. He cried after every goal. Read Terry's thoughts every week on life outside the Premier League. Follow Terry on Twitter @telpierce.
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