Everyone at the Fleet has been left devastated this afternoon upon receiving news of the passing of a giant figure in the club’s history, that of Peter Danzey.
Pete passed away in hospital this afternoon after a short illness and to say the club and the people within it will miss him dearly would be a huge understatement given his contribution to the club – but most of all the personal relationships he built within it.
Fleet chairman and owner Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi and CEO Damian Irvine released a joint statement, paying tribute to Pete’s service, dedication and presence at the club in his long years with us.
“We will travel north tomorrow with very heavy hearts given the news late this afternoon that reached us of the passing of Peter Danzey. Peter was a trusted colleague and friend to so many , and a huge part of the club. We will remember Peter tomorrow at our away match and will pay tribute at our home match next Saturday 26th August with Peter’s family and friends. We will take some time to process the sad and sudden news of today and find the right and fitting words and a way to pay tribute to Peter that does justice to his legacy at Stonebridge Road. Our hearts and thoughts are especially with Maggie and Peter’s wonderful family at this sad time.“
Pete, of course, was club secretary for 12 years, from 2009 to 2021, working alongside managers including Liam Daish, Steve Brown, Jamie Day, Daryl McMahon, Garry Hill, Kevin Watson and Dennis Kutrieb.
His diligent service and loyalty to the Fleet was second-to-none throughout all that time, and since his retirement when he was made Honorary Club Secretary and he and Maggie continued to attend as many games as they could home and away. As he said himself, he was not a fan on joining but it took no time at all for the lifelong Ipswich stalwart to fall in love with Stonebridge Road.
Pete was due admission to hospital two weeks ago but remained steadfast in his desire to watch the Fleet on TV at Rochdale, a result he received with his usual pleasure and passion for the club. And he ensured his family’s sponsorship of Luke O’Neill continued for another season too as he continued to make plans for a return to Stonebridge Road as he shared in messages with Damian Irvine as recently as Friday.
Pete was schooled in Swanscombe and began work at Empire Paper Mills in 1960, managing the finishing department there before taking on a role with Aylesford Newsprint until his retirement in 2009.
As a player, Peter turned out more than 800 times for his works side at Empire Paper Mills. A no-nonsense centre-half as he liked to describe himself, he played for 18 years from 1960-78 and after hanging up his boots continued to serve as the club’s secretary until it was disbanded in 1996.
His experience in football administration led him to join the Gravesend League where he served as secretary and fixture secretary, roles he held until it folded in 2012 after 108 years, overlapping with his position as Fleet’s secretary. He also managed the Gravesend Football League side in its games against other local associations.
And in 2013, Peter was honoured by the FA for his half-century of service to the game, the most prestigious award the association gives out to its administrative officials. He recovered from a breast cancer diagnosis in 2018 and made headlines in local and non-league media as he raised awareness about the rare condition in men.
The club will publish further details about the appropriate tributes for Peter ahead of next week as soon as we are able. In the meantime, we ask that all supporters keep Maggie and Peter’s close family and friends in their thoughts at this immensely difficult time. And friends he had aplenty amongst the supporters at the club, too, for whom this news will surely come as a shock to everyone in our Fleet family.