Memories of Suffolk-born former FIFA president

SUFFOLK Football Association’s recent 125th anniversary celebrations recalled memories of the centenary when former FIFA president Sir Stanley Rouse was chief guest.

Born and bought up in Mutford, Suffolk, Sir Stanley’s sister Audrey Fern lives in Ipswich and is in her 100th year.

Audrey’s son Roger has been in touch and said: “We moved here in 1957 when my father worked at what was then Ipswich Civic College.

“Uncle Stanley (as we know him!) had a PA, Rose-Marie Breitenstein, who still keeps in touch.

“She visits mum in Norwood occasionally and a few weeks ago she came with Professor Alan Tomlinson, director of research at Brighton University.

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“He is planning a book about my uncle with a draft title ‘Internationalist Figure of Football’ and he wanted to gather information about his early life and upbringing.

“With what has been going on at FIFA recently and particularly the World Cup bids it will be interesting to read the professor’s view of FIFA under my uncle’s leadership contrasting it with the current regime.

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“I always thought ‘Uncle Stanley’ was something of an autocrat, but his successors seem to be way ahead in that league!”

Roger recalled a tale that his uncle used to like to tell.

“He was invited in June 1944 by the Ipswich Town chairman Captain John ‘Ivan’ Cobbold to join him for a service in the Guards Chapel.

“Uncle had already accepted an invitation to talk to a Rotary Club in London about his work with the Red Cross - for which he was knighted.

“He declined the invitation saying Rotary had got into his diary first.

“A mutual friend told him ‘Cobbold will not be happy, he doesn’t like being turned down’. However, a bomb dropped on the Guards Chapel and Captain Cobbold was killed.

“Uncle Stanley would have been sitting next to him!

“Ever after, he said whenever he received an invitation to speak at Rotary, he tried always to accept!”

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