Monty Seymour – Club President – R.I.P

John D Taylor, vice-chairman of the Ex-Players Association, remembers the great Monty Seymour, who passed away on Thursday night aged 102.

“Wycombe Wanderers management, directors, players, former heroes and fans have all been paying tribute after the death was announced of Club President Monty Seymour just four months short of his 103rd birthday.

Happily, he lived long enough to see the club make a permanent tribute to his role by transforming the old Centre Spot and Scores Bar into Monty’s to honour the man whose official association with the club goes back to the 1950s and to Wycombe’s hey-day as the top amateur club in the South.

Inside, great moments in the club’s history are traced – from its formation in 1884, through the FA Amateur Cup Finals of 1931 and 1957, the eight Isthmian League title wins, FA Trophy glory at Wembley under Martin O’Neill, the transformation into a successful professional side and eventual elevation to the Football League in 1993. Monty Seymour played a significant role in most of these milestone moments.

Born on May 11, 1914 in humble surroundings on a farm near Marlow, he won a place at Borlase School before becoming a successful pharmacist in High Wycombe. Always a fan, he became the Wanderers’ President in 1966 – only the tenth since 1898 – and celebrated 50 years in that role in 2016.

Having served in Burma, the Second World War hero played a major role in setting up the Wycombe Royal British Legion Club where he was also President for over 50 years. Made an honorary Burgess of the town in 2002, the highest honour the Mayor can hand out, Monty also played a major role with the Wycombe Guarantors, the Rotary Club and the Charter Trustees over the years as well as heading the club’s annual Poppy Appeal.

At his 100th birthday in 2014, he was given a special party at Adams Park attended by his 12 great-grandchildren, eight grandchildren and three children – the highlight being a message from the Queen. Former Wanderers’ chairman Ivor Beeks gave him a club shirt with the No 100 printed on the back and described him as “An incredible person with an appetite for all the good things in life.” Ex-Wycombe manager and chairman Brian Lee described Monty as “A gentleman, and a very generous gentleman.”

The club is in the process of making arrangements for a series of special tributes to take place at the fixture against Luton Town on Saturday 21st January at Adams Park. It is hoped that members of his famiily will be able to attend.

A minute’s applause has been arranged at all EFL clubs ahead of kick-off tomorrow in memory of former England manager Graham Taylor, who passed away this week. This will be observed at Adams Park as planned.

Out of respect for both Graham Taylor and Monty Seymour – and their families and friends – the two tributes will be kept apart and therefore Wanderers will pay their respects to Monty at the match on 21st January.

A book of condolence will be opened at Adams Park in the coming days for visitors to contribute to.