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Ignite Sport UK staff joined Velocity Football students to honour the life of Mickey Lewis this morning by hosting a remembrance service and a minute’s applause.
It was a ‘bitter, sweet’ first day of full delivery for the Ignite Sport UK team following the Government’s easing of lockdown restrictions after the very sad passing of Mickey on Friday following a short illness.
Flowers and a bar of Mickey’s favourite Dairy Milk chocolate snack adorned the entrance to the Velocity Stadium as Justin Merritt, director of Ignite Sport UK, gave a speech in the centre of the pitch before Velocity lessons started.
Justin told those gathered: “Every single person here today will be feeling the loss of Mickey, we are all devastated.
“We’ve lost a friend, a colleague, a great guy and an amazing coach who to all of you was a mentor. It’s a sad day for everyone, and there is nothing wrong with letting your
“Grieving goes through a number of processes. There is loss and pain, but also pride because Mickey impacted so many of us. He has coached thousands of people and is an inspiration to all of us and I know many of you will have your own special memories.
"It’s a terrible tragedy, but throughout his short illness Mickey was always – always – asking about how each and every one of you was getting on. He adored coaching you all and working with you, you are all a massively important part of Mickey’s life and he had the upmost respect for everyone.
“The important thing is that Mickey’s legacy plays on. He will always be part of the Velocity Football programme.”
Mickey’s Ignite Sport UK colleagues were present at the ceremony ahead of the delivery of students’ first training sessions amid an easing of lockdown restrictions.
Josh Ashby, Ignite Sport UK coach and Oxford City FC first team player, said: “Mickey was an inspiration to me, not only as a player but as a coach, but most importantly as a friend. I will be forever grateful for everyone Mickey taught me.”
Jack Tutton, Ignite Sport UK Coach, said: “Mickey inspired me so much and I’ll never forget everything he has done for me coaching and playing wise. I will always remember when I was 7 years old having Mickey as my coach at Peers School for Oxford United, he helped my love of football. I loved his laughter, impressions and brilliant stories.”
Jordan Piper, Head of Football at Oxford City Junior and Youth, said: “Mickey was so much more than a colleague. He was a friend, an inspiration and someone I will always hold in the highest regard. It was always a pleasure to be in his company and our love goes to Suzanne and Zach.”
Those who would wish to remember Mickey are invited to send flowers to Oxford City Football Club where a display has been created outside the stadium’s entrance.
A GoFundMe page has also been setup to support Mickey’s family during this difficult time. Donations can be made here: Fundraiser by Mickey Lewis Memorial Fund : Mickey
Lewis Memorial Fund (gofundme.com).