Legendary Swanage family remembered at football ground

Dorset Premier League football club, Swanage Town and Herston has named its newly refurbished spectators’ stand after former Swans player and loyal fan Derek Marsh.

One of a large Swanage family, Derek Marsh sadly died in May 2022 and now his name will always be remembered at the football ground in Days Park.

Derek Marsh stand  at football ground with his family
Gerald Dimarco

Some of Derek Marsh’s family – Left to right back row: Caroline Fletcher (niece and Lenny’s daughter), Dave Mabey (nephew), Doreen Mabey (sister), Audrey Bonfield (sister). Left to right front row: Jenny Marsh (sister in law and Lenny’s wife), Sylvia Peach (sister), Sarah Fitzgerald (daughter) and Helen Ayling (daughter)

Finishing touch

The spectators’ stand was originally built in 1926 and had stood the test of time but was in urgent need of a new roof.

Now refurbished and newly painted, the finishing touch was dedicating the stand in Derek’s name, attended by relatives and friends.

Derek Marsh at football ground
Gerald Dimarco
Derek Marsh at football ground
Gerald Dimarco

Derek Marsh at Days Park

“Derek, a true Swans legend”

Swanage Town and Herston Football Club’s membership secretary Gerald Dimarco said:

“Derek spent many hours watching and shouting to his beloved Swans from the stand. He is sorely missed but never forgotten.

“A true Swans legend, Derek has been associated with the Swans and also Herston Rovers for over 70 years. He started playing for the clubs in the 1950s and after hanging up his boots he became a valued committee member and Life Vice President of the Swans.

“He followed his beloved Swans home and away and will be greatly missed at Day’s Park and by a great number of people locally. Most importantly, Derek was a lovely human being and a very treasured and greatly respected personal friend.”

Lennies refreshment facility( at football ground
Gerald Dimarco

Lenny’s wife, Jenny Marsh (left) and daughter Caroline Fletcher (right) at the refreshment facility at Days Park

Many brothers and sisters

He was also a well known person around the town having been a Swanage postman for 25 years.

Coming from a large family, Derek had many brothers and sisters including Lenny and Arthur who also had strong links to the club.

Lenny died several years earlier at the age of 68 and it was thought fitting to name the club’s match day refreshment facility after him at the same time.

Lenny Marsh
Lenny Marsh

Lenny Marsh spent his life at the club

“Much loved and respected chairman”

Gerald added:

“Lenny was a great player and much loved and respected chairman who worked tirelessly for his beloved Swans. He was a completely dedicated volunteer for the club.

“His full time job was running the boats down at the quay but he was also a qualified electrician, so he used to turn his hand to all sorts of work at the club.”

Arthur Marsh bench at football ground
Gerald Dimarco

The stone bench at the football club dedicated to another Marsh brother, Arthur

Stone bench to remember Arthur

The football club at Days Park has seen many generations of the Marsh family involved at the club and Arthur Marsh is also remembered at the ground.

He was a player and club secretary but sadly died suddenly at the age of 40 in 1980. A stone bench is dedicated in his name.

The football club has seen many positive changes recently including new state of the art floodlights and a much improved pitch.

The club also has a large number of thriving youth teams which bodes well for the future of the Swans – something that the Marsh brothers would undoubtedly approve of!

Further information

  • More about the club is on the Swanage Town and Herston FC website

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