A coach who played under local football stalwart George Talbot for 15 years has paid his own personal tribute to the former player and manager who died in May.
Wealdstone FC first team coach, Mark Gill, said: “The world is a duller place without George in it but my life is far richer for having had him in it for the last 25 years.”
Mr Gill was a player at Uxbridge FC during Mr Talbot’s tenure there, after he arrived as coach in 1990, stepping up to manager for the 1991 season, a post he held until 2006.
“George demanded only two things from his players and staff: 100 per cent effort and 100 per cent loyalty, and surrounded himself with people who were able to give him both,” said Mr Gill.
“He gave me my first job as a coach, for which I’ll always be indebted to him. “More importantly, over the years, he became a role model, a confidant and a very good friend.
“He would light up a room upon entering it with his cheeky grin and booming laugh, and if there was a microphone nearby a song was never far away – interspersed with joke after joke.”
George Talbot was born on February 2, 1948, and lived most of his life in Hayes, before moving to Fifield, near Maidenhead.
As a youngster he played for Queen’s Park Rangers before entering the amateur game in West London, playing variously for Hillingdon Borough, Ruislip Manor, Uxbridge Town , Staines Town and Walton and Hersham.
During his nine seasons at Staines he made 329 first team appearances and enjoyed promotion four times, earning the accolade from the club as ‘one of our most charismatic players of the last half century’.
Moving into management, Mr Talbot led several of the teams for which he had played, such as Walton and Hersham, Staines Town and of course Uxbridge, as well as Addlestone and Weybridge, Hounslow and Harefield United.
He led Uxbridge to nine cup finals during his 15 years in charge, with a win-loss record of 4/3 in the London Challenge Cup and 1/1 in the Middlesex Senior Cup.
While at Walton he signed Peter Osgood, then in the twilight of his playing days after his stellar career at Chelsea, Southampton and Norwich.
George Talbot leaves behind a wife, Pauline – the couple were married for more than 40 years – four children, Louise, Anthony, Daniel and Alex, and three grandchildren.
He is also survived by his mother, Marge, and brother, Colin.
A good crowd is expected at Uxbridge’s Horton Road ground in West Drayton on Sunday for the fundraising game in Mr Talbot’s honour, raising cash for mesothelioma-related charities.
Kick off is at 1.30pm and all are welcome. Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP John Randall (Con ), a lifelong Uxbridge supporter, hopes to be there.
“George was an Uxbridge FC legend,” he told getwestlondon.co.uk.
“He was a real character who inspired many of the players that he managed, with a real sense of loyalty to the club.
“His awards dinner speeches were particularly memorable.”
Mark Gill said: “RIP my friend, and you didn’t just leave your heart in San Francisco – you left it with everyone who knew you.”
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