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Adam Clifft - Loss of a good friend and coach

By Aron Sharpe It is with a heavy heart that I write of the devastating news of the untimely passing of a contemporary and good friend Adam Clifft. I find it extremely hard to comprehend how a young man who gave so much to the youth of this area is no longer with us. Adam ran Adam Clifft soccer schools at Woodhouse School and Friern Barnet School on Saturday mornings since 1990. We first met when he was running a hugely talented team for Whetstone Wanderers. He, Kypros Kyprianou ( the ex chairman of Omonia FC and CEO at Ryman Group ) and myself were adversaries but we all became firm friends, mostly because of our desire to teach boys how to play the beautiful game well. Between the three of us we arranged mini-tournaments involving Whetsone Wanderers, Omonia and Hadley Wood & Wingate when the kids progressed from mini soccer to eleven a side. All the boys became friends and many eventually played together under the Wingate banner. Adam was simply the best coach in the area and produced real 'football players'. In fact the Wingate and Finchley first team contains some of his proteges including Tommy Tejan-Sie, Cain Davies and my own boy Joe Sharpe. Adam and I were well known in youth football for being (one might say) rather vociferous on the touchline but never, ever did we have cross words. Our philosophy was always the same and he always and only had the kids best interests at heart . We spent many hours lamenting about the game and talking about the huge talent that was in the area. He was always complimentary and kind, although he would not suffer fools. We eventually worked together joining our teams as we felt it was the right decisions for all of the boys' progression. He would go out of his way to help, picking up boys and running around after them. All of this was due to his love of the game and the welfare of his players, even after they stopped playing for him. There are very few human beings left who put themselves out solely for the well-being and development of children, whether they be talented or not. I find it extremely hard to comprehend how someone of his good nature can be cruelly taken away so young. I am not embarrassed to say that sitting in an airport in Europe on hearing the news that I shed a tear for his daughter, mother, all his boys and for myself. God bless you Adam, I am sure all of the boys you have mentored and coached over the years shall not only miss you but shall ensure that they all make you proud. I am sure other contemporaries shall look back with fondness at the fantastic matches that we all competed in over the years. You shall be remembered by many.

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