A man who devoted much of his life to grassroots football has died aged 84.
Laurie Platt, of Upperthong, died after a short illness. An integral part of Upperthong Sports Club, Laurie was a player with the club in the 1950s before joining the committee in 1956. That was the start of a lifetime of being involved in local grassroots football.
Laurie was the driving force behind success of the club’s youth team section, in both the Red Triangle League and later in the Huddersfield and District Junior Football League.
As a manager and a coach Laurie was instrumental in the development of several generations of young players which enabled many to move to the higher levels of the game.
As manager and coach of the Upperthong S.C. Senior teams in the Huddersfield and District Football League in the 1960s and 70s, Laurie implemented a policy of introducing youth into the teams and the club was very successful winning numerous Huddersfield and District League division titles and Huddersfield and District League cups.
In the same period Upperthong also won the Huddersfield and District Football Association Invitation Cup in 1977 and 1978 and the Sheffield and Hallamshire County Football Association Junior Challenge Cup in 1978.
During the same period Laurie also managed and co-ordinated Upperthong Sports Club’s successful teams in the Huddersfield Red Triangle League.
In 1970 he joined the management committee of the League and remained a member of the league for many years. Sadly, the league was wound up in 1984 due to a lack of teams.
In the early 1970s the Huddersfield Junior Football League was formed and Laurie was the Upperthong Sports Club representative to the League from 1975.
He became a committee member of the league in 1979 and became chairman for one year in 1980-81. He was elected president of the Junior Football League in 1985, a position which he held until he retired in 2016.
During his time as president the number of teams in the League increased 10-fold which was a significant achievement.
He was also instrumental in gaining sponsorship for the league and the introduction of the mini soccer format across the league. His sense of fairness and wisdom made him the ideal president and leader of the league during this time.
He was also a representative of the league at the Huddersfield and District Football Association from 1984, became a life member of the Huddersfield and District FA and served as FA chairman from 2007 before becoming president in 2012 until 2016.
He represented the FA at the West Riding County Football Association where he became a director of the County FA in 2005 until retiring in 2011.