Barry Shearsby has paid tribute to former Brakes team-mate Neale Perry who died in Myton Hospice on Monday January 16 after a battle with cancer.
Neale, 41, was well known in local football circles having played for Kenilworth Wardens, Leamington, Southam and Racing Club Warwick on a Saturday and, most notably, Westlea and Leamington Hibs on a Sunday.
The striker made 20 appearances for Brakes under Jason Cadden, scoring four times, including a hat-trick in their 8-1 win at Holly Lane in the Midland Football Combination.
Neale, who worked at Jaguar Land Rover, also played in Southam’s successful reserve side under Terry Davidson before moving into coaching and managing one of the club’s junior sides.
The former Trinity School pupil was due to manage Leamington’s Under-15 Development Squad this season but was not able to take up the role due to his illness.
“Everyone that knows Neale, played with or against, will say the same as me - tough as they come on the pitch and the nicest guy off it,” said Shearsby.
“Never once did I see him give less than 110 per cent and having played against and alongside and also managed that’s a lot of games at 110 per cent.
“A true legend and gent that will be missed by everyone.
“I feel very blessed to have known this man and my thoughts are with Lisa and family at this sad time.”
Minute’s silences were held across the Leamington & District Sunday League last weekend and at Racing Club Warwick’s home game with Heath Hayes.
Neale’s funeral will take place on Saturday (2pm) at St Margaret’s Church in Whitnash.