A funeral service takes place at St Peter’s Church, March, on Thursday (November 22) for well-known local sportsman and former policeman Terry Softley, who died on November 9 following a short illness.
Aged 72, Mr Softley played as a semi-professional at full-back alongside the likes of Jessie Pye, Bobby Langton and Billy Elliott in the celebrated Wisbech Town side created by Oscar Hold in the late 1950’s - still regarded and talked about as the town’s best ever side.
He previously played for March Town and, after his spell at Fenland Park, eventually joined top village side Parson Drove and saw out his playing days there.
He also featured as a fast bowler for March Town for many seasons, after which he became chairman of the ground committee and a member of the general management committee. It was as a result of his efforts that he was voted Clubman of the Year in 1991.
An avid Manchester United supporter all his life, Terry’s sporting attention during recent years was focussed on Peterborough United (where he held a season ticket) and golf. A keen and willing member of March Golf Club’s various sides since 1995, he became club captain in 2004 and later company secretary. He will be missed by the many people who played in the ‘schools’ on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Sundays.
Although a fitter by training at British Rail and the Metal Box factory at Wisbech, Terry joined the police force in his early twenties and for 29 years was stationed at Whittlesey, Wisbech, March and Chatteris at various stages of his career. He spent many years in the traffic division and was proud to represent the Isle of Ely and Mid-Anglia at football and cricket for several seasons.
Before he finally retired from working life, Terry spent 10 years with the legal firm of Brian Hawden and Co. at High Street, March, and then two years as an NHS ambulance transport assistant.
Married to Brenda for 48 years, Terry was a keen family man and loved nothing more than a get-together or barbecue in his fondly-tended garden at Cherrywood Avenue, March, with his three sons, their partners, his six grandchildren, brother Phil and other members of family and friends. His younger sister, Elaine, died in October of last year.
The funeral service at St Peter’s Church at 1pm will be followed by private interment at Eastwood Cemetery.