Tributes paid to 'calm and caring' grassroots football stalwart 'Mr Exiles'

Eric Dickerson

Tributes have been paid to 'Mr Exiles' Eric Dickerson. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to "calm and caring" Eric Dickerson, one of the stalwarts of Ipswich football.

Eric, one of the founding members of Ipswich Exiles football club, passed away peacefully earlier this month aged 81, following eight years of care at Park View Care Home.

Eric was the beloved husband of Diana, to who he was married for 58 years, and father to Alison and Andrea.

He was also father-in-law to David, as well as grandfather to Daniel, Josh, Rebecca and Scott, and brother to Russell and Malcolm.

Eric Dickerson

"When he smiled he lit up the whole room,” said one comment paying tribute to Eric. - Credit: Contributed

Eric's daughter, Andrea Moore, paid tribute to her father, saying he "would do anything for anybody."

“His great passion was football but he was a family man as well," she said.

"When my sister and I went back to work my mum and dad looked after the grandchildren as they were growing up and the grandchildren have got really fond memories of being with him and doing silly grandad things. 

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“He was calm and caring. He was just a lovely man."

'Mr Exiles' had "football in his blood", while being one of the founding members of the club in 1958, he took up a variety of roles at the club, including as a player, and later secretary.

When the Exile's were playing Eric could be heard saying "let the ball do the work”, “ trap it” and “down the line, you’re bunching Exiles."

Eric, who was much-loved in the Ipswich football community, was involved in the club for 54 years until he suffered a stroke in 2014.

Andrea also paid tribute to her father's caring nature, saying: “He would talk to anybody, not in an over the top, gregarious way, but he was very friendly, he was interested in people. 

“It certainly wasn’t all about him, it was about everybody else and what he could do to help other people."

Ipswich Exiles outside the Safe Harbour Hotel in Ipswich in 1958.

Ipswich Exiles outside the Safe Harbour Hotel in Ipswich in 1958. - Credit: Archant

Andrea also shared some words from cards her family received following his death. One comment said: "When he smiled he lit up the whole room.”

Another added: “What a man, a character, heart of gold and wanted what was right."

A public service to celebrate Eric’s life will be held at St Mary and St Botolph Church, Whitton, IP1 6LT, on Thursday, June 30 at 11.30 a.m.   

Eric's family have asked that, instead of flowers, people consider a donation in Eric's memory to EACH (The Treehouse) or Ipswich Hospital (Stradbroke Ward or Cardiology Department) online here or at the church.

SPORT; Eric Dickerson - Associated with Ipswich Exiles FC for fifty years; PICTURE ANDY ABBOTT 17.1

Eric was involved with the Exile's for 54 years. - Credit: Archant