I may have only known Jim for a short while since I joined the club 3 years ago, and had the honour of taking over the reigns as chairman, however I have always had a huge amount of respect for Jim and he will be hugely missed by the club.

I met Jim for the first time at Cullompton and I was introduced to him as the person who was going to take over as chairman. His instant response was, “I hope you are ready for the challenge, there will be tough times as well as the good times, but try and remember the good times and learn from the bad times”. These have proved to be very wise words and something that has helped me out on a number of occasions.

At the end of the 2015/16 Jim officially handed the chairman role over to me at the end of season presentation, and recalled being very proud that he had won the treble in his first season. I think it might have been second really Jim, but I’ll let you have that one! He set me the challenge to me to repeat the same success, Well I didn’t manage it in the my first season, but in my second we won the league and also the Devon bowl, so I managed the double! I feel sure Jim was as happy as I was to see that.

Subsequently I had several conversations with Jim about taking promotion to the Western League, something that Jim had wanted to do the last time the club won the league, but various reasons didn’t allow this to happen. During these conversations he would often say to me that if I believed we could do it then we should take that chance. So taking him at his word we decided to made the jump to the Western League and Jim had a massive smile on his face when I told him.

Since I have been at the club many things have changed, some good and some bad, but throughout Jim, would always be available for me to ask for advice and support. Jim was always very keen to see any works currently going on at the ground, and was massively supportive when we discussed the building of the new clubhouse.

Jim was never someone who worried about what people thought of what he had done for parkway, caring only that whatever was planned or happening was for the good of the club.

In the short time I knew Jim I asked him many questions and have learnt many things from his advice, and I will truly miss him, having lost someone who I would always be happy to take advice from.

Although the last week has been very busy with making sure we give Jim a proper send off today, and making sure that Simon, Julian, Emma and the family have felt supported by the club, I am honoured to have been able to help with this in little ways that I hope I have.

Jim you were a great man and I will make sure you are never forgotten at Parkway, I hope you and your family enjoy the celebration of your time at the club today.

I hope I will do you proud with Parkway under my chairmanship, and I will always remember and honour the wise words you have shared with me.

RIP JIM , Gone but never forgotten

Mark Russell
Plymouth Parkway Football Club