Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Updated: Tributes to Ian Hands

6 June 2016

Club News

Updated: Tributes to Ian Hands

6 June 2016

Fans of all clubs pay their respects and remember Ian

We have received many tributes to Ian Hands since his shock passing last week. 

Ian's family are currently finalising arrangements for his funeral and we will publish these on our website as soon as they are known.

As a Barnet fan of 60 years, now living in Sussex, the only time I get to see my team is when they play at the Checkatrade Stadium. At the beginning of last season Ian told me that Barnet were at Crawley at the beginning of May and we planned to go to the match together. 

Unfortunately, being in the same line of business as Ian, dealing in ephemera etc., I found that I was booked in to stall out at a fair on May 7th and as a consequence was not able to go. A week after the match Ian telephoned me as he wanted my advice on an unrelated matter. 

We engaged in the usual good natured banter - there was never any malice between us, just mutual respect and humour plus the odd reference to John Akinde.

I have nothing but fond memories of Ian, and throughout our friendship I always found him to be honest, trustworthy, a person who always delivered and excellent company. 

Thanks to Ian I have a very early photo of Barnet FC and also a rare Barnet Alston programme, and these will be treasured even more from now on.

It was a pleasure, a privilege and a delight to know Ian.

I shall miss our chats at fairs, I shall miss our friendship, I shall miss a thorougly decent human being.

Thanks for so many happy memories, Ian.


Mike Felmore


So sad to hear of Ian's passing. Iirst met him in late 80's when he was looking for a typesetter for the match day programme. Spent many a happy time producing said programme chasing him for his Editorial page. Quite often I'd get this scribble and have to try and make something out of it!

But hey, we won awards for the content and design which made him a happy man. I continued to see and speak to Ian many times after that at different functions, the last time at the Barnet game. Was a pleasure to have known you buddy and thank you for being a good mate. Commiserations to Ian's family and many friends. The stadium in the sky is ready for you. RIP

Ron Boxall


Although a Portsmouth fan, I had the pleasure of knowing Ian for longer than I care to remember.

We would meet up at programme fairs across the country and when I took over the running of the fair at Portsmouth Ian was one of the first dealers to take up a stall over 20 years ago.

We would chat about Portsmouth and Crawley meeting in a league game one day, never thinking it would happen as the two teams were a few divisions apart. When it did happen, we would exchange programmes and team sheets and at last season’s exciting end to end game (!) Ian had no light in his programme hut. 

I had a temporary light that I use for work and as I came to the game straight from work I let him use it. After the game I was waiting to drive home but Ian kept saying “just a few more minutes” as he still had customers. I hope he got the light fixed!

We would also text each other if we had Darren Deadman as a referee at any of our games as Ian was not a fan of Mr. Deadman following Pompey 's 3-0 win at Crawley a few seasons back.

I know that I speak for fans of other teams that played Crawley who dealings with Ian in that he will be missed. Condolences to his family, friends and all at Crawley Town FC.


Chris Gibbs

I am deeply sad and upset at the news of Ian’s passing. He greeted me as a friend from the first day I arrived at the club. I loved our Saturday morning chats as I brought him the latest copy of the Black Country Bugle.

A sad loss to the club, friends and family alike.

Dave Pottinger


My son Hugo and I were devastated to hear of the death of my friend Ian Hands. He was one of the good ones, honest loyal and great company. Be it at football or at his house I will never forget the moments we shared together. We both shared a love for football and football programmes and memorabilia as well as being passionate about bowls.

My thoughts go out to all of Ian's family.

RIP Handsy. Life will not be the same without you.

Paul Manuel, Dorking


Very sad to hear the passing of my very good friend Ian Hands. I have known Ian for many years. Ian had some fantastic contacts and over the years he picked up some great items for my Brighton football programme collection. I enjoyed regularly helping him on his stall at the International Programme Fair in London. A great man indeed.

Peter Irvine


Like everybody else I was shocked to hear of the death of Ian.

I have known Ian since the early 70s when we worked together in the Police. He was such a pleasant man. Our friendship continued after we both retired through our interest in football programmes and Crawley Town.

He took up bowls which he enjoyed and which he became very very good at, mind you he always moaned about playing indoors preferring to play outdoors in all weathers. I last saw him just over a week ago when I played against him in a bowls competition when he was in very good spirits.

The world will be a very poorer place without him.  RIP Ian

Dave Swainston


So sad to hear of Ian Hands’ passing, a lovely man who had time for everyone.

Our thoughts are with Ian’s family at this sad time.

With respect and fond memories.

Gary Thompson


I have known Ian since the 1970s and as I have supported the club since the 1950s.

Ian arrived at the club and introduced me to the world of programme collecting, and Ian was always there on match days in his hut at Town Meadow with his latest one for sale.

During my time in football administration, some 50 years, Ian had always been interested in what I was doing, always greeting me with a warm handshake. In my time as Chairman of the Crawley & District League Ian was always keen to have for the latest Handbook and Cup Final programmes, and I don't envy the person who has to go through all the memorabilia Ian has gathered over the years!

I'm sure all of us at the Sussex County FA would like to send our condolences to Ian’s family and friends.

Gareth Flemington, Vice Chairman, Sussex FA


I first got to know Ian personally when I started helping my friend Martin Jordan run stalls at programme fairs over a decade ago. 


Since that first meeting I got to know Ian well and he would always pop into the Supporters Club at the Abbey Stadium when Crawley were in town to meet for a pint, a chat and a laugh at our own club's misfortunes or otherwise. At programme fairs Ian's stall would always be one of the first I visited as he was always one of the few who would bring along a decent Cambridge United selection and we would have a catch up.

A truly great guy who loved both his football and our shared love of programme collecting. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.


Ian Elliott


As a Cambridge United supporter and programme collector I met Ian many times and always enjoyed a good chat about memorabilia, football and life. He was unfailingly good company and a lovely guy to boot and he will be sadly missed by all who were lucky enough to know him. Condolences to his family. RIP Ian.

Andrew Bennett


I was very saddened to hear the news of Ian’s passing on the website today. I only came to know Ian a couple of seasons ago, obviously I had seen him about as I have been supporting the club since the 1970s. 

It was at an away game and he was on the coach with me, we had a good chat on the coach and then when we got to the game I realised I had forgotten my ticket and only had a bit of spending money on me. He paid for my ticket and bought me a pint which was very generous of him because he might have never seen me again for all he knew.  Of course I paid him back at the next home game. Many thanks Ian, you were great company on that day and a very generous man.

Diana Griffin


Everyone in the Sussex CCC museum and library are shocked by the news of Ian’s passing. Although he was very much a football man, Ian always looked out for old cricket memorabilia for the collectors at the club.

Every year we used to get together at Horsham during the festival for a long and convivial chat about cricket, football and life in general. He was a wonderful companion and friend and we will all miss him terribly.

Rob Boddie, Hon. Archivist, Sussex CCC 

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account