Shock at tragedy of club stalwart, 59
Scarborough Athletic boss Steve Kittrick has led the tributes to chairman Dave Holland, who tragically died at 59.
Scarborough Athletic boss Steve Kittrick has led the tributes to chairman Dave Holland, who tragically passed away this week.
Holland, 59, was admitted to intensive care on Sunday night after suffering a brain haemorrhage and the club released a statement on Tuesday afternoon confirming he had passed away.
The club were forced to play their Evo-Stik Division One North fixture against Ossett Town at Queensgate only a matter of hours later, with a minute’s silence observed ahead of the 0-0 draw.
Boss Steve Kittrick paid an emotional tribute to Holland afterwards.
He said: “I’m gutted for everyone at the club. He was a massive influence on me coming here and we’ve lost an absolute top, top bloke.
“I spoke to him every single day. I spoke to him Sunday and he was looking forward to Tuesday’s game.
“It’s a very difficult time for everyone.
“My heart goes out to his family and to Wendy, it’s a very, very sad day.”
Kittrick was full of praise for Holland, who he says will be sorely missed by everyone at the club.
He added: “You have to realise, Dave was on the bus with them and Saturday, and he interacted with everybody.
“Every game you’d walk off the pitch and he shook everybody’s hand.
“This club, myself and every player has lost a good friend.
“He’s the man that went and put the kit out, washed it and did everything else, he was passionate about this club and he had this club at heart.
“We spoke on Saturday on the bus back from Lancaster, and he was very posiand tive.
“He’ll be sorely missed I’m gutted.”
Kittrick’s tribute was echoed by one of Boro’s longestserving players, Matty Bloor.
Bloor said: “It’s been a difchard ficult few days.
“In non league everybody’s in it together, it’s a close-knit group.
“We had a lot of contact withDave,hewasalwayspitchside after every game, win, lose or draw and he’d shake every single player’s hand.
“If you played, didn’t play or were injured, he’d have a lot of time for everyone. It’s been a sad time for the players.
“But ultimately and more importantly, our thoughts go out to Dave’s family.”
Holland took over as chairman in April 2011 after the death of Richard Adamson, and current club director Geoff Osguthorpe paid tribute to the countless number of hours he dedicated to the club during his tenure.
“I’m stunned and gobsmacked by the news,” said Osguthorpe.
“He seemed fine on Saturday and we had a meeting Friday night too.
“My thoughts go out to Wendy and Dave’s family at this difficult time.”
The message that Scarborough Athletic boss Steve Kittrick gave to his players before Tuesday night’s EvoStik North clash with Ossett Town was “Do it for Dave”.
Dave Holland, the long-time chairman of Boro, had sadly passed away just hours before the home fixture after a short illness.
This sent shockwaves around the club, but everyone from players, staff, board and the fans pulled together to make sure the game went ahead and provided a fitting tribute to a man who, in his tenure, had become Mr Scarborough Athletic.
Three points would have been ideal on the night, but Boro’s players still gave their all in a battling goalless draw against an in-form Ossett.
The game moved away to a slow start, the first chance arriving after 11 minutes when Ossett’s Jake Ellam whipped in a volley at the Boro goal, which was held by keeper Joe Green.
Ossett were given the perfect opportunity to take the lead after 17 minutes when defender Matt Lucid blocked Alex Peterson’s drive on the line with a combination of body and arm.
Referee Darren Whatling brandished a yellow card for Lucid and pointed at the spot, but the acrobatics of Green managed to push Ashley Jackson’s kick to safety.
There was little more to report from the opening half, apart from a late scuffle that resulted in a booking for former Boro man Steve Ridley and a great last-gasp chance for Boro.
Matty Turnbull got his head on a free-kick into the box, but Chris Bolder’s toe was agonisingly short of turning the ball home.
Boro had a useful opening when the second half kicked off, with Benny Igiehon bursting free, but the big striker lifted his effort over the bar from the edge of the box.
The hosts continued the press, Niall Flint seeing his low drive blocked and then Jacob Hazel danced around keeper Leigh Overton, but he couldn’t fire home from such an acute angle.
The creativity began to vanish in the closing stages, with only a looping Lucid effort causing issues.
One thing was clearly evident after an emotional 90 minutes, if Boro continue to fight like this then their playoff hopes and chairman Holland’s dreams of promotion, are still an achievable aim.
Dave Holland 1957 - 2017
A minute’s silence was impeccably observed by fans and players alike following the sudden death of Scarborough Athletic chairman Dave Holland (above) Pictures by Paul Atkinson
Boro striker Benny Igiehon tries to win the ball back in the 0-0 draw