John had been ill for some time and battled bravely whilst continuing to support local football.
John enjoyed an illustrious career in football administration and played a pivotal role in how the County FA and grassroots football is recognised today.
John’s love affair with football began as a Committee Member with Ellisfield FC in 1963 before being appointed as Secretary of Apland FC in 1966.
Between 1967 and 1970, he was Secretary of the Basingstoke Lads League and served as the Secretary of the Basingstoke & District Sunday League for nearly 20 years, whilst also holding the posts of Fixtures Secretary and Press Officer during this period. He also served as Chairman between 1986 and 1989.
He has served numerous other football bodies including the North Hants Divisional FA, North Hants Senior League, Basingstoke & District Saturday League (which he chaired between 1986 and 1989), the Hampshire League and the Wessex League.
John was a Founder Member of the Hampshire Youth FA and served from 1971 to 1975 and again from 1990 to 1999 until the amalgamation with the senior body. John was elected Deputy Chairman of the HFA Council in 1989 and was elected Chairman 1997 serving through to 2014. John also served as Chairman of the Hampshire FA Board of Directors from 2000 to 2014 and as the inaugural Chairman of Hampshire FA Community Trust.
In 1997, John was a Founder Member of and was elected Chairman of the well respected Basingstoke & Deane Development Council, a group dedicated to the development of grassroots football in Basingstoke. He also served as Chairman of the South & South West Counties Alliance and the Management Committee of the Conference of County Football Associations.
John was the County’s Representative to The Football Association Council from 1998 to 2017 and served various FA committees including the FA Vase Committee (including as Chairman), the League Sanction & Registration Committee, the Women’s Committee, the Leagues Committee (also Chairman) and the Planning, Administration and Training Committee (also Chairman). John was also a past Chairman of the FA Ground Grading Technical Panel and a member of the FA Disability Football Committee. John was also a member of The FA National Game Board (including a spell as Vice Chairman) and the FA Main Board of Directors, during which he served on committees overseeing the construction of Wembley Stadium, St Georges Park and the appointment of a number of FA Chairmen.
John was also hugely influential in the planning, design and construction of Winklebury Football Complex and the home of Hampshire FA which was the culmination of his vision back in the 1960’s. In 2015, Hampshire FA recognised John’s outstanding contribution to football in the County by naming its new conferencing facility at Winklebury Football Complex, the John Ward Suite and in 2017 renamed the Hampshire FA Sunday Senior Cup, the Hampshire FA John Ward Sunday Senior Cup.
John dedicated his life to our National Game and received numerous deserved honours. He made many friends in football and was very well respected for his wealth of experience and knowledge.
John’s legacy will long be remembered and his passing will be mourned by the National Game. Quite frankly – a term often used by John – there will never be another John Ward.
Funeral details are confirmed as follows:
Date - Wednesday, 26 September 2018 @ 3.30pm
Venue - St Mary's Church, Old Basing, Basingstoke RG24 7BW
Time - 3.30pm
This will be a service of celebration of John's life with a private funeral service beforehand for family only.
No flowers please, but any donations can be made direct to the funeral directors which will be split between Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and Basingstoke Hospice:
Spencer & Peyton Funeral Directors, 380 Worting Road, Basingstoke, RG22 5DZ
Neil Cassar | Hampshire FA Chief Executive