Tributes are being paid to popular Harlow-based Essex County FA Life Member, Keith Miller, following his passing last week.
Keith was a respected and active member of the local football community, being particularly well-known in the area of refereeing.
He began his match official career over half a century ago in the Bishop’s Stortford Stansted & District and Harlow & District Sunday Leagues, gaining his 'Class 1' status in 1973. Having risen rapidly through the ranks of the Hertfordshire Senior County and the Essex Senior Leagues, he was promoted to the ‘line’, and subsequently the ‘middle’, of the Football Combination.
From there, Keith (pictured above, on the left) progressed to the line of the Football League and, ultimately, the middle of England’s most senior competition. He additionally enjoyed several European trips on behalf of UEFA, a particular highlight being the European Championships Semi-Final between Spain and Denmark in 1984.
After leaving the Royal Navy, he worked at an engineering company in Harlow called Holbrooks, before joining the Aluminium Supply Aerospace Division of the British Aluminium Company, where he became their national salesman of aluminium to the aircraft industry.
Keith qualified as an FA Assessor, as well as continuing a lengthy period of sterling work on behalf of his local societies at Epping and Harlow. At Epping, he became their Treasurer and Coaching Officer, before joining Harlow Referees Association in 1982 where he again took on the roles of Treasurer and Training Officer. Keith later became Chairman and, ultimately, President.
He put in a lengthy stint as the Referees Secretary for the Harlow & District Sunday League and received The FA’s 50-year Award for services to the game. During those five decades he worked hard to share his experience, expertise and enthusiasm for a game he clearly loved so much.
Keith joined the Essex County FA Council in 1993, becoming a Director in 2001 before stepping down in 2004 when he was named as a Life Member, having served the Council for 21 years.
Our sincerest condolences have been passed to Keith’s family, friends and loved ones.