Tributes paid to ‘legendary’ Spalding football physio and ‘family man’ Jack
A popular Spalding father and grandfather whose charity work became as well-known as his long spell as an “old school” football club physio has died, aged 88.
The funeral of Jack Pateman, who treated injured players at Spalding United for at least 20 years, takes place at South Lincolnshire Crematorium, Surfleet, tomorrow (Friday) at 10am.
Mr Pateman, who died on Saturday, October 14, is the second person with long-standing connections to the Tulips to pass away this month following the death three weeks ago of former vice-president Jack Goddard, aged 94.
But a tribute from Mr Pateman’s grandson Jack Padoan revealed that the “man with the magic sponge” was as recognised for his allotment and charity work as he was for helping out on the football pitch.
Mr Padoan, originally from Spalding but now running his own food business in London, said: “Within Spalding, Grandfather really was a celebrity and he impacted upon so many lives because he would bend over backwards to help anyone out.
“He was always managing the allotments in Horseshoe Road, Spalding, where he went everyday to collect potatoes and cauliflowers which he would give to his neighbours.
There was a lot more to my grandfather than just Spalding United Football Club because he was a family man and friend who wanted the best for people
“My grandfather would even give me potatoes and cauliflowers as well to make what I called ‘Grandfather’s Cauliflower Croquettes’.
“He would also cut people’s lawns and run charity barbecues on Horseshoe Road to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
“There was a lot more to my grandfather than just Spalding United Football Club because he was a family man and friend who wanted the best for people.
“Grandfather was like a living legend of health and happiness who was known by so many people.”
In a tribute on behalf of Spalding United, director of football and ex-manager Bob Don-Duncan said: “I worked with Jack Pateman during my first spell in charge of Spalding United back in the late 1980s.
“He worked tirelessly in making sure that everything around him ran smoothly and, as a physio, he was very much chiselled from the ‘old school’ of player welfare.
“He could fill a full bucket of cold water and handle a mean sponge like nobody I’d met before and players soon got to their feet when Jack was on his way from the touchline, particularly on a bitterly cold December afternoon.
“After all, the last thing a player needed was a drenching with ice-cold water from Jack’s magic sponge.
“It’s fair to say that Jack was a great character, one of a kind, marvellous to have about the place and someone who I know was well-liked by all of the players.
“On the few occasions that our paths have crossed since those heady days when we were all a good bit younger, Jack and I would chat at length over ‘the good old times’.
“He was very fond of my son Ross, who attended matches with me as a youngster, and I know that he will be extremely sad at hearing of Jack’s passing.
“Suffice to say that Jack will be fondly remembered by all those who met him and who worked closely with him.”
A wake after Mr Pateman’s funeral will take place at The Riverside Hotel in Surfleet.
• What are your memories of Jack Pateman? Email firstname.lastname@example.org