FC United of Manchester FC United of Manchester FC United of Manchester

FC United of ManchesterSmaller TextLarger Text

Pauline England - Funeral Details

Dear All,

Rachel and I would like to thank all our friends for your wonderful messages of support during the last few difficult days.

Pauline’s funeral will be at 2.15 pm on Thursday 15th October 2009 at:

St Paul’s Church,
Moor Lane,
M7 3WX

followed by a cremation to which family and close friends are invited. We will all then meet up at the reception to celebrate in style!

If you are unable to attend the service please do join us at 3.30 to 6.30 pm for a reception to celebrate Pauline at:

Sedgley Park RUFC
Park Lane
M45 7DZ.

Wearing a small red token, to recognise Pauline’s football and political allegiances, would be a nice gesture.

We ask that any donations be made to the Lupus charity at:


John and Rachel England

Red flag at half mast

Pauline was like a member of the squad," says FC United manager Karl Marginson. "She was someone the players took as part of the furniture - through her role as matchday host at Gigg Lane and she also travelled on the team bus with us when she acted like an ambassador for the club in the away team’s boardrooms.

"Everyone connected with the club was shocked and devastated to hear the news of her death and our thoughts were immediately with her husband John, who is a truly lovely bloke, another hugely popular figure here and one the players have the utmost respect for. It’s just terribly sad."

On the final whistle at the end of a tumultuous last minute victory against Stocksbridge Park Steels, United keeper Sam Ashton ignored the celebrations of the rest of his team and sprinted across the pitch. He vaulted the advertising hoardings and went straight to John England, still unbelievably carrying out his match day duties the day after Pauline’s death at the ridiculously tender age of 56.

Sam and John embraced, as Pauline’s dear friends below, many of whom volunteer in the FC matchday reception and other areas of the club, consoled each other amid the tears that greeted the game’s finale and playing of her favourite song The Red Flag.

It was an emotional end and a fitting tribute to the life of a person who touched so many.

That her death was felt so keenly is a compliment to a wonderful person who I had the pleasure to know personally. She was one of this football club’s many unsung heroes. Many supporters wouldn’t know her from Adam Carden, such was the way she conducted herself with the minimum fuss. Just like devoted husband John, Pauline went about her business without waiting for compliments or needing a pat on the back. She helped make matchdays a smoothly run operation and filled her friends with cheer through her witty comments and clever asides, as she passed them for the umpteenth time while performing her duties in the Gigg Lane corridors or behind the reception counter.

She also fulfilled a valuable role away from home, when she would liaise with the away team’s directors in the numerous boardrooms we visit during the course of the season. One former board member recalled the advice and guidance Pauline had given him when he’d been on duty away from home for the first time. As he put it: "Without Pauline, I’d have been ******."

Her friends have their own favourite stories, many of which they swapped on Saturday as they struggled to come to terms with her loss.

She was a mother figure to those who went on reception volunteer Debbie Smith’s hen party to Benidorm last year. Having retired to bed early she would put notes around the apartment to guide her drunk roommate to bed when she would stumble in some time later.

The club secretary recalls Pauline’s love for mini-rolls. At one away game (the venue shall remain nameless for fear that they may withdraw their kind offers should we visit again), one of the host directors offered FC’s officials the remainder of the mini rolls that were left over from the buffet. Pauline, never being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, proceeded to open up her handbag and shovel the lot in. Ever since, it has been a running joke among our officials as they travel to away games.

A former nurse, she was given the title of FC’s unofficial chemist due to the amount of medicines she carried in her Mary Poppins-esque handbag. Last season one senior player was particularly thankful when she provided the remedy to combat a shocking case of pre-match squits on the way to a match.

I witnessed her quick-fire wit at Debbie’s 40th party when the subject turned to Royal Family. Pauline couldn’t wait to discuss the virtues of the best possible ways to do away with them, tying anyone who dared argue in knots with her acerbic arguments. It was a pleasure to behold.

Pauline’s views were reflected in many ways by the setting up of FC United, hence the playing of socialist anthem The Red Flag as requested by John.

Faced with the prospect of needing a fitting tribute, John opted for this over a minute’s silence and that says all you need to know about him, his wife and the lovely way they went about their business. That he was there on Saturday at all summed him up. It’s what Pauline would have wanted and had he stayed at home, she’d have given him a proper telling off. Pauline loved the club so much she had recently put herself forward for the forthcoming board elections.

Her loss will be most keenly felt by John and their family. Still completely and obviously in love after so many years of marriage, the pair were inseparable and bounced off each other in a way couples many years younger could only dream about.

It will embarrass John to read such gushing praise and kind words, because that’s the type of person he is. Both have been a huge part of FC United’s formation and development. Their popularity was evident from the overwhelming number of well-wishers queuing up to pass on their best wishes to John and from the number of tears that were shed on Saturday.

As a current board member remarked: "It’s a measure of them and a measure of the tight knit nature of this club that everyone is absolutely devastated.

"People’s faces dropped when they heard, it is really shocking. But we need to take strength from it as it shows the unity we have as a club. We’ll be alright."

And that is a sentiment that Pauline would well and truly advocate.

Home Email Facebook Reddit

First Posted ~ 10:17 Fri 16 Oct 2009
News ID ~ 2462
Last Updated ~ 12:56 Mon 21 May 2018