Nothing was too much trouble for Nigel

PUBLISHED: 12:19 28 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:43 10 September 2010

Tributes have been paid to former Norwich City secretary Nigel Pleasants.

Tributes have been paid to former Norwich City secretary Nigel Pleasants.

Tributes have been paid to former Norwich City secretary Nigel Pleasants - who went to Wembley with three different clubs - who has died at the age of 59.

Tributes have been paid to former Norwich City secretary Nigel Pleasants - who went to Wembley with three different clubs - who has died at the age of 59.

During his time in office, he helped guide the Canaries through the upheaval of the Carrow Road fire and the excitement of the Milk Cup final victory in the same dramatic season of 1984-85.

He had taken early retirement and was living in Cromer at the time of his sudden death.

Ken Brown, whose seven years as City manager coincided with Mr Pleasants' stint as secretary, said: “We had some very successful times. Nigel was always there for us and nothing was too much trouble. He was always on the ball with all those football rules and regulations. Wherever he worked, he never let anybody down.

“He was not just a very good secretary but a very good friend and wherever he went after leaving Norwich, he always visited us at Christmas.”

City chairman Roger Munby was in his first spell as a director in 1986 and 1987.

He said: “Nigel had a great knowledge of football and football people and a great love of people and he could always be relied upon to make an introduction and look after you in football company. It was no surprise that someone of his personality and experience should do such a good job at Leeds United when they were at one of their peaks.

“This is a tragic loss and the club sends it condolences to Nigel's family and his wider family of friends.”

Born in Norwich, Mr Pleasants joined City in 1973 and succeeded Bert Westwood as secretary seven years later. There was seldom a dull moment in his time as secretary with two promotion seasons, two relegations, a major fire, a Wembley win and a complete change of board.

His organisational skills were tested to the limit in October 1984, when a major fire destroyed much of the Main Stand, but City were still able to relocate thousands of fans, accommodate the media and set up temporary dressing rooms for a home game against Queen's Park Rangers 48 hours later. Later the same season, he oversaw the distribution of about 35,000 tickets for the Milk Cup final against Sunderland.

He left City at the end of 1987 after club chairman Robert Chase sacked Brown as manager and made major staff changes, and he had a spell as landlord of the White Horse public house, Trowse. But he returned to football as secretary at Cambridge United, during which time they won the Division Four play-off final at Wembley.

He then spent nine years as secretary at Leeds, during which they won the Football League title in 1992 and were Coca-Cola Cup runners-up at Wembley in 1996. Elland Road was also one of the host grounds for Euro 96.

Victoria Wilson, one of Mr Pleasants' two daughters, said: “When my father started at Norwich there were just three of them in the office, but things took off. The fire and the Milk Cup final were his biggest memories.

“He had nine years at Leeds and we still have letters he received after Euro 96 thanking him for the way everything was organised.”

In later years he was general manager of the Theatre Royal, Windsor, working for top theatre producer and Everton chairman Bill Kenwright, then returned to football as secretary at Harrogate Town and York City before returning to Norfolk.

Mr Pleasants leaves two daughters, Victoria and Annabel. His funeral service will be held at St Faiths Crematorium on Friday, September 5 (2.45pm).

Tribute to Gerald Giles - Page 45

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