I was saddened to read on ATFC.org.uk the news of another fond person passing away.
David Steeds (1938-2020)
David Steeds made me laugh. The first time I met him, he rolled over to me, looked up at me and said, “I used to be as tall as you.” From then on, he was always witty and welcoming. After some time, I learnt he was one of those mythical Directors within Aberystwyth Town F.C. He’d tell tale after tale and engage me with his vision of how Aberystwyth Town F.C. could be so much bigger, if it wasn’t for the sea and regional isolation. As well as being a keen historian, he was greatly knowledgeable about literature and could quote countless authors. Not only that, he’d throw in a question and make you engage the conversation in a thoughtful but not taxing way.
Recommended further reading: Aberystwyth Town Football Club: Fallen Heroes of the Great War by Gil Jones and David Steeds [GB 0212] ADX/1503 @ Ceredigion Archives.
Mr Steeds was an International Politics Lecturer at Aberystwyth’s University when it was simply known as the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. I don’t recall ever meeting his two boys William or Daniel, but I do remember feeding their family cat and chickens over several holidays, as Mr and Mrs Rhiannon Steeds travelled. The popular ATFC director always had a warm greeting and was clearly very friendly throughout the club. His people’s person skills are something we should all learn from. People matter – and to him they always did. When F.C. Dinaburg came to train in Aberystwyth, he accompanied them to Penparcau’s Min-y-ddol fields to help them settle in. I recall seeing him in deep conversation with the UEFA Intertoto opposition team’s manager (as pictured).
Local football and Aberystwyth have lost someone dear. I read his involvement in the Mini Minor League had nothing to do with cars of the same name, but his passion to push his boys as far as they could go. I heard he helped them get to Aberystwyth Town’s Youth and reserve teams. He talked a few times of these great moments, and the rainy days when things weren’t so easy, but he always conveyed his pride that his boys had gotten so far in football. This is proof alone, that lifting the Champions League trophy is one thing, but giving your all and getting into your local club is one thing entirely different. Something to be utterly proud about.
I didn’t know Mr Steeds as well as others, or wasn’t his student, but I am glad that Mr and Mrs Steeds showed their kindness during my late university year and the year I resided in sunny Aberystwyth after university. To Mrs Rhiannon Steeds, his sons William and Daniel and to their family, I give you my condolences.