The Sutherland Shire football community is in mourning after the death of legendary figure Bill McIlveen.
Mr McIlveen, a life member of Sutherland Shire Football Association, Football NSW and Heathcote Waratah Football Club, passed away at the age of 85 after an illness on August 1.
His loss is a huge one for the Sutherland football fraternity, with Mr McIlveen dedicating more than 40 years of his life to football in the shire holding a long list of positions.
Mr McIlveen, of Heathcote, had been a coach, team manager, referee, committee member and a volunteer as well as enjoying a stint as chairman of the judiciary.
He was honoured in front of hundreds of guests at the 2015 Football NSW state dinner where he was awarded the George Churchward Medal, Football NSW's most prestigious individual award, for showing an outstanding commitment to the game.
Mr McIlveen told the Leader at the time his greatest highlight from football was witnessing the ability and joy of young players.
SSFA general manager Jeff Stewart told the Leader that Mr McIlveen was a “kindred spirit.”
“He was a family man. Always happy and cheerful. Everybody was his friend. He always had a cheeky, mischievous look in his eye,” he said.
“How he found the time to do all the volunteering he did considering everything he did and raise a family as well as he did is a credit to the man and his family.
“If I can achieve 10 per cent of what Billy achieved in sport and in the community I’ll be a very happy man.
“He did not do any of it looking for accolades or acknowledgement. It was all just because he loved it. And he loved the game.
“I don’t think Heathcote Waratah Football Club, the Sutherland Shire Football Association or Football NSW would be where they are today without Bill and people like him. They are the reason we exist and why we are successful.”
His funeral was held on Tuesday.
Mr McIlveen is survived by his wife, Yvonne, and children Jon, Scott, Glenyce and Derek.