We are sad to announce that having fought against illness for the last few years, Stan Shaw has passed away. Stan was a very popular face at DHL and served Enfield as a committee member for many years. But it was without doubt his role as a groundsman for which he will best be remembered by myself and many others.
If a Southerner was to describe your archetypal Northerner it would be to describe Stan. A spade was a spade, fag in hand, one line put downs and a true northern grit never told all the story. Stan could be as grumpy as the best, and, as much as his generation was (and is), he was very rarely politically correct. Waxing lyrical about the latest turmoil was never Stan’s cup of tea. It was right or wrong, wet or dry, cold or hot, black or white. Arguments in the bar would always be short and sweet and I would always give up when trying to put forward any sort of alternative view that he or Dave disagreed with, it was always pointless, they always won. But that was his generation, that was Stan. Grumpy, oh yes, stubborn, without doubt, respected, absolutely.
I could write for hours on some of the things he said and did whilst working on the ground, they’re making me chuckle as I write. One of the funniest (and one of the few that are printable) tales was when I replaced Stan’s ridiculously old “wireless” with a DAB radio so we could listen to the Test Matches in the hut during any rainy days, of which there was many. Stan of course hated the thing and struggled to get anything on it whatsoever. I would often turn up to see a cloud of tobacco smoke bellowing from the hut thinking Stan was listening to TMS only to find him tuned in to something like Radio Moscow. I would walk in touch one button and hey presto cricket came on, “smart ass” he would say whilst making me a brew and rolling me a fag. He never gave me an easy time over that radio. Following the fire of 2012 that destroyed the Tea Room and hut, he said to me, “at least I don’t have to put up with that bloody crap radio of yours anymore”. I did in fact pull it out of the ashes, and a few days later presented it to him.
Stan’s heart was always with his family, he never stopped talking about them. But it didn’t stop him asking about yours, as during a particularly difficult time in my family he did just that. Something I’ll always be very, very, grateful for. I’m proud to have called him a friend.
A pint to toast Stan tonight, definitely.