Suffolk club captain sacrifices attendance record to be there for daughter’s birth
Trimley Athletic captain Dave White’s team loyalty saw him achieve over 240 consecutive appearances as skipper – but family commitment meant he narrowly missed the 250th.
On a recent Saturday, when Dave would have been stepping out onto the pitch nearing that record, he was instead beside his partner Lauren Hunwicks before the birth of their second child.
Dave, 35, who lives in Ipswich, said “it was not in question” he was going to miss the birth.
“But Lauren knew that if there was any chance of me making the game, then I would,” he added.
“I had my kit in the car and ready to go - and Lauren was happy with that. She puts up with me.”
After a long labour, baby Erika Audrey Hunwicks White was born at 8.15pm on November 4 – long after the game had finished – and is said to be doing “really well”.
“The worst part of the day for Lauren was during the game time, so I am glad I was there,” said Dave.
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“All I cared about was Lauren and Erika being OK. If I were to miss a game, it was actually a nice way for it to happen, rather than being injured, suspended or dropped.”
Although Dave missed out on the record, he still received a surprise trophy after last Saturday’s home match, which would have been the 250th game.
Former manager Dennis Tattoo, who attended the presentation, said: “In the increasingly fickle world of local football where players move clubs with their mates or a manager, for a bit of cash or when their team starts to struggle, Dave epitomises supreme qualities of loyalty, selflessness and leadership.”
Dave said his love for the role and his team helped him achieve his impressive attendance over the past seven seasons.
“Playing for this team makes motivation so easy,” he added.
“The people at the club are just fantastic, such great, friendly people and I never want to let them down.”
Dave also said he also owed a “huge amount” to Dennis.
“I almost stopped playing football as I was losing a bit of love for it, but Dennis totally changed that and instantly reinvigorated my love and desire to play,” he added
And as a father for the second time, Dave is showing just as much commitment to his family role. “They both require hard work and dedication,” he added. “Both bring ups and downs, but both are so much fun and incredibly rewarding.”