Everyone at the Poly was deeply saddened to learn that long standing player, captain and committee member Terry “El Tel” Buckland recently passed away.
After a brave fight against prostate cancer, Terry had been in hospital undergoing major heart surgery and subsequently suffered two strokes. He passed away surrounded by his loving family a few hours after the second stroke.
Terry had a long and successful playing career at the Club, representing many of the sides over the years. A tenacious central midfielder, he was still competing admirably at 3rd team level well into his fifties.
Following that, Terry was instrumental in the formation of our Vets team and the West London Veterans League which they play in, latterly he held the position of Chairman of the League. He managed the team from its inception and had been looking forward to resuming the running of the team after his surgery.
Off the pitch Terry was a valued committee member. He was the Club Treasurer for several years and oversaw our attaining Charitable status as a Community Amateur Sports Club. This set the club’s finances upon a sounder footing for many years and at the time we were one of the first clubs in the league to achieve such a status. Several other clubs benefitted from Terry’s wise counsel in their own applications.
Past and present Club personnel paid tribute to Terry following his passing.
Chairman Barry Madigan said: “Terry was such an enthusiast and was single handedly responsible for the most important achievement in the Poly’s history after its founding, obtaining charitable status for the club. This on top of being 3rd and Vets captain and manager, committee member, trustee and treasurer since joining the club about 30 years ago.
“He was also a founding member of the West London Vets League and heavily involved in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors football.
“I only played with Terry once when he guested for the Strollers. He was told he was part of their ‘youth policy’ so a lot of (other players’) running would be expected. He was about 50 at the time! He didn’t disappoint.”
“Terry you will be greatly missed.”
Former Chairman and Life President Sean Harney added: “I had the distinct and real pleasure of playing with Terry as teammate and a manger for the 3’s, he was 100% focussed, a leader of men and could play a bit.
“As Chairman having Terry on the executive management team was invaluable, his attention to detail and drive was amazing, none more so when he single handedly transformed the Poly’s finances by achieving Charity status. He spent hours completing paperwork and even created a document for other SAL clubs so they too could become charities.
“I have many memories of playing with him but one game in particular springs to mind, we were at home to West Wickham and Terry put in his usual hard shift battling in midfield giving the opposition no chance to settle on the ball. After the game Terry said he was not feeling well and had some chest pains, a trip to hospital revealed that he had suffered a heart attack in the second half. He was instructed to take a break from all exercise to recuperate, however 8 weeks later he turned up with his boots expecting a game.
“Terry was a Poly man through and through not only will he be missed as a Poly legend he will be missed as a friend for many who played with and for him.”
Treasurer Keith Johnston said: “Terry was running the third team when I joined the Club. His dedication to the Poly was unrivalled. I remember occasions where he would return early from a family holiday in Ibiza to play a match and then re-join them afterwards – I’m sure this was to Sue’s delight.
“On the pitch he was a combative central midfielder and opposition players would always come to regret assuming that his age meant they would be able to get the better of him.
“Off the pitch he approached running the club with the same passion as he displayed on it. When taking on the role of Club Treasurer it was Terry’s past approach to the role that inspired me.
“Rest in peace mate, you will be sorely missed.”
Away from Poly, Terry was a successful businessman, running a property company in the West End of London for many years.
He is survived by his wife Sue and their children Dan, Amber and Levi. Everyone at the club would like to send them our heartfelt condolences.
Terry’s funeral will take place on Monday 25th November at 12 noon. The funeral service will be at All Saints Church SW14 8AX. Afterwards at The Victoria SW14 7RT. Instead of flowers, Terry’s family have requested donations to Harefield Hospital. More details about the funeral arrangements can be found here.