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Sporting stalwart Guy Mitchell dies aged 82
YORK’S sporting community is mourning the loss of one of its most popular and respected figures.
Guy Mitchell, who ran Mitchells sports shop in Colliergate for 49 years with his sister Mary and brother Tom, and sponsored the York Mitchell Sports Football League from the 1970s, died in York Hospital following a short illness, aged 82.
The father-of-three, from the Shipton Road area, was president of the HPH York Vale Cricket League for 40 years, with his involvement dating back further. His father Tom scored York City’s first-ever goal at Bootham Crescent and managed the club either side of the Second World War, reaching the FA Cup quarter-finals in his first season.
Mr Mitchell – honoured by the Football Association for 50 years’ service to the game – also leaves six grandchildren. His eldest daughter, Carol Suchecki, said: “He was a lovely, kind man who just always wanted to be involved in sport and became so well-known through the shop, which he loved – he never had a day off sick.
“People reckoned he always gave them a discount if they played for a certain team.”
His grandson and local football referee Jan Suchecki said: “He was cheeky, sociable and everybody seemed to know him – when I told people he was my grandfather, they’d always have a story to tell about him.”
Mr Mitchell’s sister, Mary Jackson, said they built Mitchells, which closed in 1999, “from nothing” and her brother was an expert window dresser. She said: “I hope the Mitchell name will live on in local sport, because he was so interested in it.”
A minute’s applause for Mr Mitchell will be held before Sunday’s Mitchell League games. League chairman and York FA secretary Barry Casterton said: “He was a constant source of support and advice, the sort of league president you always saw because he was so passionate about it. He was always genuinely concerned about people’s wellbeing. He knew what was right and wrong and wasn’t afraid to speak his mind.”
Vale Cricket League chairman Shane Hargrave described Mr Mitchell as “a true gentleman who did an enormous amount for local cricket”, and who was proud to receive a framed cricket picture from the Lord Mayor of York this year marking his long service. He said: “It’s tragic news – Guy will be sadly missed by all connected with the league.”
York City chairman Jason McGill said: “Guy Mitchell contributed so much to local sport in York and his name will live on for many years to come. We send our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.”
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