Morecambe pay tribute after club stalwart passes away

Morecambe have paid tribute to Dickie Danson, their former assistant manager, director and head of youth, after it was revealed he had passed away.

A man who had a large impact on football as a player and a coach, he was appointed manager of Morecambe’s reserves in September 1991 and was caretaker manager before Leighton James was appointed in December 1993.

He had a spell as assistant manager to Jim Harvey before joining the board of directors and leading the youth set-up.

He was instrumental in creating the Shrimps’ youth development programme in partnership with Lancaster and Morecambe College, and was also heavily involved in founding the club’s EPPP programme in 2012.

Dickie Danson served football in Morecambe and Lancaster with distinction

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As well as his work with the Shrimps, he was also manager of Lancaster City and took charge of the Lancaster junior football team in the Youth Games.

As a player, Danson was a junior with Preston North End and moved into the local leagues in playing for clubs including Galgate, Trimpell, Lansil and Storeys, as well as featuring for Morecambe’s reserves and Lancaster City.

In 2015, his work in football was recognised with a special honour from the FA at the Lancashire Football Association’s annual meeting in Leyland, when he picked up a special gold medal and pin badge.

A number of former Morecambe players took to social media to pay tribute, while Morecambe co-chairman Rod Taylor also offered his thoughts.

Speaking to the club website, he said: “All of us at the Mazuma Stadium are saddened by the news that Richard (Dickie) Danson has passed away.

“Dickie’s involvement at Christie Park began after coming to us from PNE in 1956 at the age of 15 years. He figured massively playing in the local football scene over the next 15 years or so. From 1982 until 1990 he found himself ‘over the river’ managing our neighbours, the Dolly Blues.

“Dickie has been a stalwart of the Shrimps since returning to the club as reserve team manager in 1991, becoming caretaker manager after manager Bryan Griffiths departed the Shrimps at the end of 1993 and then Jim Harvey's assistant when we were promoted to the GM Vauxhall Conference in 1996. Following that he joined the Morecambe board of directors as director of football.

“For me, a massive part of this football legend’s legacy has been the development of youth players. From the start of our ‘academy’, in conjunction with Lancaster and Morecambe College in the 1990s, scouting and developing such players as David Perkins, Scott Davies, Garry Thompson, Ryan-Zico Black, John Hardiker, Danny Carlton, Jonathan Smith, Michael Knowles, Michael Stringfellow, the list goes on and on.

“Dickie was then instrumental in the formation of the club’s current academy set-up, starting out as a category four outfit and now operating as a category three. Always looking to the future, always developing talent.

“I knew Dickie as a friend and a colleague, enjoying family celebrations with his wife Val and his family.

“One of my most proud and memorable occasions with him was at the Leyland headquarters of the Lancashire Football Association when he was presented with an FA medal to commemorate 50-plus years in football. His beaming smile lit the room up that night and I think everyone there knew him and had the utmost respect for him.

“Richard Danson was a loving and doting family man, a very close family with his dear wife Val, children Harvey and Amanda, son-in-law Andrew and daughter-in-law Jane, grandchildren Joe, Emily, Matthew and Alex.

“He was your archetypal football man. He lived and breathed the game, gave it his all and was well respected within it.

“As a person he was one of those people that you rarely meet in life, always the same demeanour (off the park!), consistent in his outlook and always cheerful. A true gentleman. I have been privileged and proud to know him, work with him and class him as a true friend.

“RIP Richard.'”

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