This week we recognise NSFA Life Member and former President Phil Rees.
Phil became involved in football in NSFA when sons David and Tim joined St Ives FC. From 1976 to 1979 Phil served as Secretary of St Ives and then from 1980 to 1984 as President. Not long after stepping down as President Phil became the first ever Life Member of St Ives FC.
Phil’s service to NSFA began in 1982 when he was elected to the role of Junior Vice President. In 1983 Phil added the role of Representative Convenor, a position he held until 1985. He stood down from the Junior VP role after the 1983 season. During that time Phil was also a coach and team manager in the Ku-ring-gai representative set-up.
In 1986 Phil was elected as President of NSFA, just the fourth person to hold that role in 30 years after Don Allen, Jim Flint and Bob Davis. By the time Phil stepped down in 1997 he had become the second longest-serving President in NSFA history. In 1987 Phil and his committee secured office premises for the first time at James Street Waitara, with John Hargreaves as office manager. In 1988 the Association became an Incorporated Association with a new constitution.
Phil’s committee also oversaw the return of female football to NSFA and appointed a full-time office administrator. Phil was blessed to have served with three fantastic secretaries: Rod Woods, John Hargreaves and Garry O’Neill. Phil enjoyed a great working relationship with all three and by his own admission learnt a great deal about sports administration. Phil also received great support from wife Jan and sons David and Tim during his time as a coach, manager and administrator.
Phil and Jan later retired to Anna Bay near Port Stephens. Unfortunately, Phil contracted cancer and after a long, hard battle he passed away in September 2016 at the age of 78. Phil was a direct, forthright character who could be polarising, but he was also a very funny man with a wry sense of humour. What was not in question, however, was his love of his club, St Ives FC, the Association and of course his family.
Written by Damian Miles.