Tributes to ex-South Shields and Darlington footballer

A TRUE GENT... Baden Powell.
A TRUE GENT... Baden Powell.

BORN with a famous name, Baden Powell, who has died at the age of 82, lived a truly sporting life.

Tributes were paid today to the talented footballer, athlete, caddy-to-the-famous, engineer and maths teacher.

Mr Powell, of South Shields, passed away at Falstone Manor Care Home, in Sunderland, after a battle with cancer.

Sharing the name of the Scouts movement founder, he was born in Hebburn and as a schoolboy sat next to future Manchester United goalkeeper Ray Wood.

He went on to become a highly-rated right winger for Darlington FC – and later a caddy for Ryder Cup golfer Peter Butler over 25 years.

Sport was the great passion of his life, and it’s said that as a young man he could run 100 yards in 10.5 seconds.

Today, his sister, Valerie Parker, 70, of Cullercoats, recalled her brother as a “true gentleman”.

She said: “Baden was playing at South Shields Golf Club until he suffered a slip on the ice in March last year.


“Baden was the kind of person who would do anything for you.

“He was polite and a real gentleman – he was of the old school.

“He was a fabulous runner and footballer, and he loved his golf.

“As well as caddying for Peter Butler he got to meet all the golfing greats, including Gary Player and Seve Ballesteros.

“Sport was a great passion throughout his life.”

Mr Powell played for Newcastle United’s nursery team and rubbed shoulders with football legends, including Stanley Matthews and Stan Mortenson.

An apprentice at Reyrolles in Hebburn, he also had trials with Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United before returning to the draughtmans office at the engineering company.

But his reputation as a fast-paced winger grew and he signed for Darlington FC, making his debut in 1950. Released in 1954, he went on to play for South Shields FC at Simonside Hall.

In later life, he was a maths teacher at several South Tyneside schools, including St Joseph’s RC Comprehensive in Hebburn.

Another great love of his life was golf, and a spokesman for South Shields Golf Club, said: “Baden was a true gentleman who loved his sport. He liked to recall his footballing days and his days when he caddied for Peter Butler.

“He has been a member of the golf club for many years, as was his late wife Audrey. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”

Grandfather-of-two Mr Powell’s wife, Audrey, died 14 years ago. The couple are survived by their son, Christopher.

His funeral service is to be held at St Peter’s Church in Sunderland Road, South Shields, next Tuesday from 11.45am, followed by cremation in South Shields.

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul