John Francis Appleby (5 Oct 1948 - 7 Aug 2020)

Funeral Service

Location
Meet at Repton School Sports Centre for 1:10 pm. Willington Road Repton DE65 6FH
Funeral Director
Murray’s Independent Funeral Directors Findern

To donate in John's memory please visit https://www.gofundme.com/mr-staffordshire

In loving memory of John Francis Appleby who sadly passed away on 7th August 2020 with his closest family by his side, aged 71 years. Beloved husband of Janine, a much loved dad and granddad and a great friend to so many.

John was a teacher at Paulet High School for 37 years and was involved in Burton and District Schools' Football, Burton Albion FC and Staffordshire Schools' Football for almost 50 years. Previously a council member and chairman of English Schools' Football Association.

"Mr Staffordshire" will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Sincere thanks go to all of the community nurses based at Repton Health Centre and the out-of-hours Derbyshire community nurses for their wonderful care and kindness.

A private burial will be held at Repton Cemetery on Thursday 20th August. If you wish to line the street to pay your respects to John his cortege will arrive approximately 13.10 and travel from the Sports Centre at Repton School, along Willington Road to the Cross. Parking will be available at the Sports Centre car park, a huge thank you to Repton School for assisting us with this.

A big celebration of John's life will be held at a future date. If you’d like to attend, please send an email to “celebratemrstaffordshire@gmail.com” with your name and how you know John, so that date and venue details can be sent to you.

Donations in memory for 'Staffordshire Schools' Football Association' will be gratefully received and will allow them to continue his amazing legacy (please see link at top of page).

Ed Mitchell wrote

John,

You were always there for me when I needed advice or just someone to come and have a laugh with. I really did enjoy Monday nights down at Stafford Town for many of the little jobs you needed doing.

I was really gutted when I read about your passing and I would like to give my condolences to your friends and family for their huge loss. Your sense of humour and passion will be missed by all that knew you.

John, thanks for all that you did for me and for Staffordshire.

Rest in peace mate!

Ed

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Mark Hignett wrote

I was blessed to know John for many years through schools’ football. A selfless man of unrelenting high standards and great humour. In particular, John provided friendship, guidance and support when I first joined the ESFA Council for which I am eternally grateful. A wonderful man who will be so dearly missed by so many including me. RIP John

Apologies to John’s family as I am unable to attend the funeral due to having to quarantine on my return from France.

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  • Thanks so much Mark xxx

    Posted by Ellie on 20/08/2020 Report abuse
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Shropshire Schools' & Colleges' FA wrote

John was a wonderful man whose passion for football and creating the best opportunities for young people was second to none. We all know Staffordshire SFA was his first love but he was also a wonderful supporter of of all football and colleagues in the world of football. A warm welcome was always received. RIP John from all in Shropshire

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  • That’s really kind of you, thank you so much ❤️💛💚💛💚

    Posted by Ellie on 20/08/2020 Report abuse
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Sue Gregory wrote

To the most Inspirational Man I knew..
Thank you John..
A true Hero & Legend
Forever in my heart ..
God Bless
And Rest In Peace 😇💙

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  • 😢😢😢 bless you Sue, thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️

    Posted by Ellie on 20/08/2020 Report abuse
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Disne siddalls wrote

John was a wonderful man respected by myself and many others known him years first as a teacher in my early years at paulet later as a work friend slways on hand to offer support and advice when required a man of many talents especially in the kitchen family were very important to him he was especially proud of his children and wonderful wife

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  • Thank you so much for taking the time to post your lovely message ❤️❤️❤️

    Posted by Ellie on 20/08/2020 Report abuse
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Corinne Gadsby wrote

John, Mr Appleby, the one teacher I will always remember so fondly, such a big personality, always fair, respected him greatly for his passion he showed for kids in his care, I was a pupil at Paulet in the early 70's.
My son Lewis went on to play County under John's watch, what a man, what a legend, thank you John for inspiring so many.

My sincere condolences to the family.

Rest in peace Sir

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  • Ahhh thanks so much for taking the time to post this lovely message Corinne ❤️❤️❤️

    Posted by Ellie on 19/08/2020 Report abuse
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Rob Wakelin wrote

I didn’t know John for too long but he had me helping out coaching with a County side, running the line in a County game and he’d got me onboard to help out next season. How could I refuse?
Our School team County Cup final was postponed due to COVID-19 but when I popped in to school one day to look after the key worker kids there were 16 medals in my pigeon hole!!
I’m gutted and still can’t believe it!
Rest in Peace mate.

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  • Thank you Rob ❤️❤️❤️

    Posted by Ellie on 19/08/2020 Report abuse
  • John was very upset about the boys and girls who missed out on finals. He was determined that they would at least get medals. As to somehow finding yourself being drawn in to helping and not knowing quite how that happened, well here is a story from many years ago. In the days when John could regularly be found on duty sitting in the foyer at Paulet, he asked someone entering the school who he was looking for. It was Mike Underwood arriving for an interview. They were a person short for the school versus staff football match that afternoon and he asked Mike to play. He waived aside Mike’s protests that he was dressed for an interview, told him to come back afterwards and was presented with kit and boots. He duly played in the match. As a bonus Mike got the job. Thank you to everyone who has written such kind posts. Janine

    Posted by Janine on 19/08/2020 Report abuse
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Neil Tilley wrote

I worked along side John at Paulet High School and shared 21 years coaching and managing Burton and South Derbyshire District teams. It has been hard to find words to express what John meant to so many people.

My thoughts are with Janine, Ellie and Chris, RIP John.

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  • Cheers xx

    Posted by Ellie on 18/08/2020 Report abuse
  • Cheers xx

    Posted by Ellie on 18/08/2020 Report abuse
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Jon Skinner wrote

I met John about ten years ago through school district and county football. His passion was always amazing and he wanted every pupil to have the opportunity to play the game. He put in so much time over the years organising school football and I know was and will continue to be respected by many PE teachers across East Staffs and Staffordshire as a whole.

My wife and sister in law also loved John when he got them FA cup final tickets when Stoke played in it! So glad when they lost (I’m a Derby fan!!)

Top man, will be missed massively.

Thoughts go out to the family and friends. X

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  • Thank you so much for taking the time to post this message Jon ❤️💚💛

    Posted by Ellie on 18/08/2020 Report abuse
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Mark Culverhouse wrote

What an amazing and inspirational man John was. I first met him roughly 25years ago when our District teams met. From that point on he was always someone I knew I could turn to for advice, football or otherwise. John has given the opportunity to play football to countless pupils in Staffordshire and will be greatly missed. At a time when Staffordshire Schools FA was on its knees and only a couple of us were just about keeping it going he came back and totally transformed the association to what is now one of the strongest in the country. This is shown by the number of children taking part in the competitions or representing their county. It is such a shame we were unable to compete in the two national finals this season. Away from football John has been a tremendous support to me. In the recent past I had to deal with a very difficult situation and the way he supported me with his ability to cut through all the rubbish and deal with the issue was amazing. It has been an absolute pleasure to have known John, his passion and commitment to giving young people opportunities in football was second to none. I will miss not being able to pick up the phone for a chat, although maybe not miss some of his rather poor jokes. RIP John.

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  • Thanks so much for your lovely message Mark. I know what you mean about the awful Dad jokes 😃😃😃 xxx

    Posted by Ellie on 18/08/2020 Report abuse
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Terry Durand wrote

John will never die in our minds whilst we are still alive. I will never forget the great kindness he showed towards me when visiting hospital last year, not allowing me to be alone & bringing me back home after treating me to drinking chocolate & some cake. Also taking me to your local garden centre bringing me home with two garden streamers, which are even more cherished now, well cared for & used every day the weather permits.
My thoughts are with you, Janine, Ellie, Alex & the delightful grandchildren
Rest in peace my dear friend

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  • You left my name out which is Terry Durand

    Posted by Terry on 18/08/2020 Report abuse
  • Thank you Terry ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Posted by Ellie on 18/08/2020 Report abuse
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Mick Parker wrote

RIP John,
Only got to know you over the last 4 seasons at the Football, a true gentleman, was a privilege to have know you. RIP

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  • Ahhh thanks for taking the time to post this Mick xxxx

    Posted by Ellie on 17/08/2020 Report abuse
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Rod . Golding wrote

John.
Most of the recollections on here are,quite correctly,football or sport directed.Thought I would attempt to approach my memories of my Friend John from a slightly different angle.
The start point.
This came one evening in the Barley Mow Pub in Main St. Stapenhill. John would visit after a training session for some club and meet up with a group of fellow teachers.
I was at that time helping the running of the local (independent) Youth Club named after the much respected Dr.Norman Cochran.The club had at that time two football teams.
The teams were without any sponsorship so we ran a weekly Tote for funding.The New Inn & The Barley Mow allowed me to approach customers who were willing to have a go on our Tote.
A close friend in the Barley introduced me to the group of Teachers who,of course all had a go.
If memory serves correct,John"s numbers came up one week.On giving him his colossal winnings (£13.00)...he invited me to join the group for a drink and chat.He of course wanted to know all about both the Youth Club & Football Club.
Respect Commenced.
The Government of the day introduced "the Works Experience Scheme". John made contact with me to find out if the Company I worked for would be interested in participating.Part of my responsibility included hiring of works personnel ,so I was able to help.
John went out of his way (as always) to make sure the boys and girls that he introduced were correctly prepared.
ALL the pupils John introduced (and some of them were not unknown to a bit of bother) were a credit to both John & the School.
From that moment foreword John repaid me many times by giving me the opportunity to be involved in his devotion with and to Staffordshire Schools FA.
Well John I have travelled up,down and across this country with you,talking,not always agreeing,but NEVER falling out.
I celebrate having known you,having been introduced to some really first class people by you (especially at Stafford Town FC ) and have been immensely proud to call you my friend.

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  • Thank you Rod ❤️❤️❤️❤️ That’s a really, really lovely message xxxx

    Posted by Ellie on 17/08/2020 Report abuse
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Ellie Appleby posted a picture

John and Kingsley with a massive trophy for Town Hall FC 😃😃

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  • Wow, I cannot believe it, amazing photo - brought back so many memories of John and myself

    Posted by Kingsley on 17/08/2020 Report abuse
  • Outside the flat at Pinewood Road 😃😃😃 Spookily when I first moved out of home I moved into the flat diagonally opposite the one that mum and dad lived in 😃😃😃

    Posted by Ellie on 17/08/2020 Report abuse
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Kingsley Blease wrote

John was a star - always full of enthusiasm and passion. Back in the mid 1970's he coached and played for Burton Town Hall Football Club - before John "took us in hand", we were always the good loosers - very rarely got a point from our Sunday morning games. John arrived and took us through many a gruelling Tuesday and Thursday evening training session in the Hillside school gym (followed by a couple of pints at the Copper Hearth). If we ever got a penalty in the game, John would take it, and aim straight at the goalie - if the goalie got in the way, he often ended in the back of the net with the ball - no messing with John's full of power kick. In the cup one year, we won a few games, much to the other teams surprise - thanks to John's no nonsense training, and desire to win - thanks John
We live a few miles away now in Canada, but my wife Yvonne keeps in touch with her Hillside school friends via face book - we will be with you in spirit on Thursday John
Rest in peace
Kingsley

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  • Thanks so much for posting this lovely message Kingsley xxxx

    Posted by Ellie on 15/08/2020 Report abuse
  • I’m posting a photo that will hopefully bring back some Town Hall FC memories xxx

    Posted by Ellie on 16/08/2020 Report abuse
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Mick Simpkins posted a picture

Mr Appleby's first school football team ( Hillside 1971 )

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  • Wowzers!!! That’s amazing to see 😍😍😍😍

    Posted by Ellie on 15/08/2020 Report abuse
  • Mum says that was his favourite team ever 😍

    Posted by Ellie on 16/08/2020 Report abuse
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Mick Simpkins wrote

In 1971 being my 1st year at hillside school as it was then, Mr Appleby was our PE teacher, he took over us as his 1st school football team and looking after us then throughout all the years.

He was a winner himself, therefore his attitude towards his football was fed into us at that time in not only making winners as a team but also believing in ourselves as individuals.

Those of us fortunate & privileged to be in his school team knew in no uncertain terms on and off the pitch exactly where you stood and he was respected for that.

The last time I actually saw and spoke to him myself was exactly a year ago now, sadly at our school captain and friends funeral Keith Briscoe, with no surprise us ending up reminiscing fond memories of those school days like it was only yesterday.

My sincere condolences to all the family.

Rest in peace Sir

Mick Simpkins

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  • Thank you Mick for your lovely message ❤️❤️❤️

    Posted by Ellie on 15/08/2020 Report abuse
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Mick Simpkins posted a picture

Mr Appleby's first school football team ( Hillside 1971 )

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Scott McCalliog wrote

John Appleby

What a man!!!!!
Such a pleasure to have been regarded as a friend!
From a young dad trying to guide his 13 year old daughter to the very top of the game at club And county level.
You introduced her to an opportunity to go and live her dream of going to America and doing a football scholarship while studying medicine.
Fast forward 5 years of winning titles with Staffordshire schools county FA and club football and reaching the very highest level in the country.

August 8th Demi flew out to Louisiana USA to start her American journey the day before our family lost a very dear friend!
Thank you John. X
Our love to Jainie and the family. X

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  • Scott McCalliog xxxx

    Posted by Scott on 14/08/2020 Report abuse
  • Thank you so much for posting this message Scott ❤️❤️ Dad would have been so proud of Demi!! I hope she enjoys every minute of her adventure xxxx

    Posted by Ellie on 15/08/2020 Report abuse
  • Thank you Ellie x our love to you and the family xxxxxxx Demi sends her xxxx from Louisiana 🇺🇸

    Posted by Scott on 22/08/2020 Report abuse
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Rod & Diane Golding is attending the funeral
Emily Russell wrote

Just a true legend ❤️

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  • Bless you, thank you Emily ❤️❤️

    Posted by Ellie on 14/08/2020 Report abuse
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Martin Thomas wrote

John you were amazing at school I had you for sports mainly football but were hard but fair I wish I could turn back the clock to my school days again as you was a amazing teacher god bless you rest in peace .

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  • Thank you so much Martin ❤️❤️

    Posted by Ellie on 14/08/2020 Report abuse
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Vikkie cantrill wrote

My son only just started his county football this season and I could see how invested he was. John will be greatly missed x

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  • Thank you so much Vikkie xxx

    Posted by Ellie on 14/08/2020 Report abuse
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Sam Easton wrote

I attended Paulet School 1979-84. Mr Appleby (seems strange to call him John even now at 52!) was simply a legend.
That purple tracksuit with the BAGA badges sewn on it, driving that wreck of a Duple school bus, chatting about football and him teaching not only PE but life lessons about morals, values, discipline and hard work. Don't think I've ever done a Double Beat Vault or a Falling Leaf ever since but he gave me the confidence to always have a go.
I'll never forget his very kind gesture of helping me and my best mate get tickets to Kevin Keegan's last game for his beloved Newcastle v Brighton in May 1984.
Within the last 12 months he came to present some awards at the junior school I work at. Sat in that hall he had the kids hanging on his every word and I felt as if I was 11 years old
again!
Sincere condolences to the family, he will leave a huge hole for many people.
Auf Wiedersehen, Mr Appleby.

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  • I can still remember the smell of that bus!! How he got it to keep going is a miracle. I remember when funds allowed Paulet to finally buy a new minibus and he was quite pleased with it but still said “it’s not the same as the bus though is it?” 😂😂😂 Thanks so much for your lovely message ❤️❤️

    Posted by Ellie on 14/08/2020 Report abuse
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