10:30AM, Thursday 13 July 2017
Former Maidenhead United player and Cox Green School PE teacher Steve Palfrey has died aged 64.
The Evesham-born footballer was described by his wife Marj as a ‘devoted, sincere and dedicated family man’.
Mr Palfrey made 293 starts for the Magpies, and is 13th in the club’s all-time list of appearances post-1919, the club said.
He passed away from lung cancer on Wednesday, July 5, having been diagnosed in October 2015.
“He loved his family dearly and was loved very much in return,” said Mrs Palfrey, a 59-year-old retired primary school teacher.
“He encouraged his family to strive to achieve their goals.
“Always supportive of every idea of his daughters. Always thinking about his family who would often be surprised at his thoughtful presents and gestures.”
Mr Palfrey, who attended Loughborough University from 1970-1973, made his debut for the Magpies in November 1976 after signing from Wokingham Town, according to club historian Mark Smith.
Starting off as a midfielder, he later converted to centre-back and right-back roles.
In 1981, he married Marj, who he’d met in Maidenhead.
“We were inseparable and shared a wonderful life together,” she said.
Narrowly missing out on promotion twice, Mr Palfrey left York Road at the end of the 1981/82 season to join Marlow briefly as a player/coach before returning to Maidenhead.
After leaving in October 1984, he returned in the 1986/87 season as assistant manager.
“All at the club send their sincere condolences to Marj and Steve’s family,” an obituary on Maidenhead United’s website said.
Mr Palfrey lived across Maidenhead and Cookham with Marj – their last home was in Great Hill Crescent – and they raised daughters, Jemma, 31, a primary school teacher and Charlotte, 26, a payroll officer.
Mrs Palfrey said: “Steve was immensely proud of Jemma and Charlotte. He spoke to them every day. He gave his girls everything and referred to us as the ‘lovely ladies’ in his life.”
Away from the football pitch, Mr Palfrey enjoyed playing golf and cricket, and was captain at Boyne Hill Cricket Club for a stretch in the 1990s.
He worked as a PE teacher at Cox Green School from 1973 to 1997, during which time he attained an Open University maths degree.
In 1997, he moved to Beaconsfield School to work as a maths teacher and assistant head before retiring in 2010.
He received an honorary degree from Loughborough University that same year.
A service will be held at Amersham Crematorium on July 27 at 10.45am, followed by a gathering at Boyne Hill Cricket Club in Maidenhead.
Any donations may be made to Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
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