NEWQUAY fell silent on Saturday afternoon as teams of people around the area paid tribute to former Peppermints centre-forward Phil Ryder who passed away on Thursd..." />
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News Archive > Sport > ‘Great sportsman’ passes away

‘Great sportsman’ passes away

By Tom Howe 29th November 2017

‘Great sportsman’ passes away
Newquay´s 1983/84 South Western League championship winning team

NEWQUAY fell silent on Saturday afternoon as teams of people around the area paid tribute to former Peppermints centre-forward Phil Ryder who passed away on Thursday, aged 62.

It was with Newquay that Phil will no doubt be remembered best as the forward who spearheaded of one of most successful teams around at the time. Phil joined Morrish Truscott's Newquay ahead of the 1977/78 season and made an immediate impact, scoring 31 goals - the second highest in the South Western League and just one behind Dicky Endacott of Wadebridge Town.

Phil’s goals helped the Peppermints finish as league champions, his first of four title successes with Newquay, who that season also won the Cornwall Charity Cup. His goalscoring prowess earned him a place in the Cornwall county side where, in 1979/80, he was one of nine Newquay players selected.

Close friend Alan Metters, who knew Phil for the best part of half-a-century, described him as a 'great sportsman' who will be 'sadly missed'.

He said: "I played for Bugle, St Blazey and Bodmin in the South Western League so I was always playing against him and this is where I believe the respect grew.

"For 15 seasons Phil was up there with the very best, backed up by the success Newquay enjoyed. Sadly a knee injury brought his career to a halt at the top level but Phil continued as a goalscorer for a few teams local to the Newquay area. The last few years he got great enjoyment watching the Godolphin rise up through the leagues and most Saturdays could be found chatting to Stewart Lenton, who was an ex-teammate, watching the G.

"And the begger could play pool and euchre too! He was my partner for three years when we played for the Godolphin and took his fair share off me playing pool. Phil was just a great sportsman and will be sadly missed.

"Having known Phil for nearly 50 years, I was touched to be one of the first people his partner Kim phoned. He is getting some bloody football team together up there! I'll miss him."

Phil grew up in Truro, not far from the town's football club. His father John was a full-back for several local clubs including Falmouth Town and Launceston before becoming treasurer of Cornwall's Football Association. Phil played for St Agnes as a youngster before, after a brief time with Truro, he moved to Newquay and quickly established himself as one of, if not the best forwards in Cornwall. Under the guiding eye of Trevor Mewton, Newquay were the dominant force, producing one of the best sides the South Western League ever produced.
Following a short spell at Penzance in 1976/77, where he again finished as leading scorer, he joined Newquay for the 1977/78 season. By now the first choice county centre-forward, Phil helped bring league titles and cups to his new home.

Off the pitch, Phil was head chef of the Kilbirnie Hotel and a doorman at the Old King Mark, latterly known as Fosters, and was a keen watcher of local football in recent years.
Many team-mates and opponents were quick to express their respect and condolences and former Falmouth and Cornwall favourite Tommy Matthews summed up the thoughts of many in saying: “You knew you were in for an almighty battle with Phil. Sometimes you won, but mostly you lost. The one thing you knew was there was nothing sly about him and a handshake and a beer after the game was a given.

"Fantastic goal scorer, brave as a lion and great to be around. Massive shock. RIP Phil, condolences to your family and friends. People use the word 'legend' all too frequently these days. Not this time. Legend.”

A celebration of Phil's life will be held at 1pm on Friday, December 8 in the Trelawny Chapel at Penmount Crematorium, Truro - just under 10 months since the service for Ryder's former teammate Ray Nicholls. After the funeral, all are invited back to the Godolphin Arms where further celebrations of Phil's life will take place.

He leaves behind partner Kim, daughter Lauren, son Liam, step-son Chris and grandson Jack. Family flowers only but donations if wished to the Stroke Association (stroke.org.uk) and/or Arthritis Research UK (arthritisresearchuk.org), or will be gratefully received by retiring collection or may be be sent to Bob Chudleigh, John Nicholls Funeral Service, 21, Crantock Street, Newquay, TR7 1JJ (01637 851177).

By Tom Howe 29th November 2017

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