'Mr Manea' Maurice Short has died aged 93
Tributes have been paid to Maurice Short known as ‘Mr Manea’ who has died at the age of 93.
Maurice won local acclaim for his dedication to the village he was born and grew up in and in particular to the football team - Manea Utd - who he supported his whole life.
He died yesterday (Wednesday) at the Gables in Chatteris, where he had been living since the middle of December.
Even though Maurice, a widower who lost his wife Doris 19 years ago, never donned a pair of boots to play the game he loved, he was always an avid fan not only of the local side but also Manchester City.
Despite not playing football himself Maurice qualified as a referee and also acted as linesman at Manea for many, many years. He supported the club by running the weekly football draw, and making teas.
He helped Manea Utd in numerous other ways not least acting as groundsman and marking the pitch for well over 70 years, finally retiring three years ago when he turned 90.
He did a similar role for the village cricket team, when Manea had a side, and even donated a trophy for them to play for.
In 2003 Maurice was shortlisted in the finals of the BBC’s Regional Sports Personality of the Year Awards for the Community Unsung Hero, and was interviewed for the television as part of that process.
It was also around his 90th birthday that Maurice retired from his role as paper boy for the village shop, a job he took on when he retired from Allpress’ in Chatteris in 1991.
Until last autumn, when ill health took hold, Maurice was the regular caller at the Friday night bingo sessions held at the village hall and on Thursdays at Manea Royal British Legion Club.
He was a member of the village hall committee for well over 50 years but stepped down in April 2018, when organisers of the bingo nights held a special fundraiser as a thank-you to Maurice for his many years of service to the hall.
Maurice was born and brought up in Station Road, Manea, on the Short family’s farm, and lived just a few yards down the road. He attended the village school and the Cromwell at Chatteris.
He worked on the family farm both before and after completing service with the army, having been called up shortly before the end of the war. He would drive the farm lorry.
Maurice’s brother Peter Short said: “He loved the village and the football team. He loved to help out - he was a really good man.”
Maurice, had one daughter Valerie Wright, who lives in Northamptonshire, twin grandsons, five great grandchildren and one great great grandson who was born last summer.
His funeral will be held at Manea’s St Nicolas Church where Maurice and Doris were married and he will be laid to rest at the village cemetery, which is fittingly just across the road from the playing field, where he spent so much of his life.
Valerie said: “Mum always used to call the playing field Dad’s second home, so it is nice that he will be so close to it in his final resting place with Mum.”