Coronavirus: Familiar face of the footballing community in Newark dies after brief fight with covid-19
A familiar face of the footballing community has died after a brief fight with coronavirus.
Alvyn Cooling, 72, succumbed to the virus at a speed that ‘frightened’ his family.
His brother, Trevor, who lives in Spain with his wife, Judith, announced Alvyn’s death on the Newark-on-Trent Memories Facebook and said the response was phenomenal.
“He lived in Newark the whole of his life,” said Trevor. “He would have been 73 in May.
“The speed of it was the thing that frightened us. I went to Newark in January to visit him in his care home and that was the last time I saw him.
“He did look himself for someone suffering with Alzheimer’s.
“He was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre with sepsis and I found out from the hospital two weeks ago that he had been discharged to a care home.
“The week before he died, they said he was in good health, but had a raging temperature the following weekend.”
Because of the virus, they will be unable to attend his funeral.
“It is something very hard to accept but there is no option. There are no flights or transport,” said Trevor.
“Football was the link for us, it did not matter when we got home from school — we would be playing football.”
In 1957 when Alvyn was ten and Trevor nine, their dad took them to the City Ground to watch Nottingham Forest play Manchester United.
“At that time children could sit on the grass behind the surrounding wall to the pitch and I can still remember Duncan Edwards coming over to take a throw-in,” said Trevor.
“Alvyn’s comment to me was ‘he’s a giant’, and we both became Manchester United supporters forever after. It was one of those things we never forgot.”
Alvyn went to Sconce Hill School at 11 and quickly joined the football team.
He and Trevor were choir boys at Christ Church.
Alvyn took up an apprenticeship at Worthington Simpson at 16, became a pump fitter and worked there for 50 years, often returning after his retirement in 2013 to share lunch with former colleagues.
His footballing abilities were soon recognised and he turned out for the firm’s juniors in the Newark Youth League. The side won the title and the Robert Burden Cup for three consecutive years from 1963.
The successful junior team was promoted to become the Worthington Simpson first team in the 1965-66 season and won the Notts Alliance 1st Division Championship.
In 1967-68 Alvyn and Trevor went to play for Lincoln City.
In the early Seventies, Alvyn returned to play for Worthington Simpson, winning the Notts Senior Cup in 1971. He then moved to Clipstone Miners Welfare before going to Rainworth Miners Welfare in 1976.
“Rainworth went to Wembley in 1982 to play the final of the FA Vase against Forest Green Rovers of Gloucestershire. The game was lost 3-0 but Alvyn came away with something more valuable than a trophy.
“He had a clod of Wembley turf in his bag and planted it in the middle of our dad’s grave in Newark cemetery. He had never been to Wembley so brought Wembley to our dad.”
Judith, who has been with Trevor since 13, said of Alvyn: “He was a very social person, made many friends throughout his life, was hard-working and had more trophies for sporting achievements than you could imagine.
“We have found a way to send flowers to the funeral and there are people in Newark that will be there.
“We all remember him as he was, he was a gentle man and soul who loved his mum — one of the best.”
Alvyn leaves his twin children, Mark Cooling and Marie Parker.
A date for his funeral is yet to be arranged.
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