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News Archive > Sport > Goodbye and thanks, Trevor

Goodbye and thanks, Trevor

By Tom Howe 20th December 2017

Goodbye and thanks, Trevor
TREVOR Mewton, known as the county´s greatest ever football manager, lost his battle with illness last week

NEWQUAY shared shock and sadness with the rest of Cornwall last week after Trevor Mewton, known as the county's greatest ever football manager, passed away following a brave battle with illness.

Trevor, who was 73, was very fondly thought of in sporting circles around the county, having enjoyed unparalleled success during a managerial career which spanned more than 40 years.

Cutting his teeth at Foxhole Stars in the mid-1970s, Trevor moved on to transform St Austell's South Western League fortunes before leaving for Newquay in 1978. In his 10 year spell at Mount Wise, he led a Peppermints team featuring the likes of David Streat, Phil Ryder and the Nicholls brothers to four South Western League titles in a period that also included a runners-up spot and three third place finishes.

A short spell out of the game was brought to an end in 1989 when Trevor joined Falmouth Town, winning two South Western League titles and two South Western League Cups. A three-year tenure at Porthleven followed, with Trevor once again presiding over a transformation in club fortunes, before he moved onto St Blazey where he would enjoy his most fruitful period.

The club achieved immense success, winning seven South Western League titles - including five in a row - as well as, at long last, the previously elusive Cornwall Senior Cup.

Further jobs at Truro City and Penzance brought yet more silverware and recognition, with both his county and South Western League representative teams coming to call upon him for leadership. He later returned to Newquay as director of football and stepped in for a short spell as caretaker manager after Kelvin Hunkin's departure in late 2013.

Jill, his partner of 26 years, said Trevor always spoke highly of his time at Newquay and the players who played under him at Mount Wise.

She said: "He always talked very fondly of his time at Newquay and he had success there. His bugbear was that he never won the Senior Cup there, I can't recall how many attempts he had before he won it, he got to the final about 12 times. He regretted that, but he had great years at Newquay.

"He had done one year at St Austell and Newquay head-hunted him. He went on to have a very successful career there where he had, what he would call, good senior pros. They were always his words. He had that the whole time he was there.

"He stepped down to nothing when he left there, he didn't leave Newquay and immediately go somewhere else. Although it didn't last long, he was soon back in it! He stepped down and went back to help with the Reserves but, of course, Falmouth was the main Cornish club at the time and he had been interviewed years previously and had been offered the job but they gave it to somebody else.

“When Falmouth Town came knocking on his door, it was too much temptation and something that he had always wanted to do. Had it been another club he might have thought twice."

Away from the dug-out, Trevor opened Studs Sports on East Street during the 1970s, in what is now Dive Newquay opposite the Post Office. The business remained there for many, many years before moving to Bank Street and now Chester Court. Supplying many local clubs with sports kit and gear, he also opened shops in Truro and Bodmin and the Macron Store in St Columb.

Trevor met Jill in 1984, after she had moved to Cornwall from her native Sheffield.  

She said: "I moved to Cornwall in 1984 and Trevor was manager of Newquay then. I think the reason we survived was because I am a football nut. For my sins, I am a Sheffield Wednesday fan and I used to go week in week out to watch them.

“So, when I moved to Cornwall, the nearest thing was going up to watch Newquay. My dad was a steward at the football club so I went up there quite a lot. We got together in 1991 and were married in 2001.

"He had success with the football club in the good old days of Newquay. We worked seven days a week, the shop would open at 7.30am and you were still pushing them out of the door at 10pm. His whole working life was very, very busy.”

Jill revealed Trevor had grown frustrated with the senior game in recent years and had put more of his time into developing the footballers of tomorrow.

"Football was his life, he absolutely lived and breathed it but he fell out of love with it. When he played it was a bit like the Bill Shankly quote, 'football isn't life or death, it is more important than that'. The lads he used to manage in his successful teams, they would have walked over hot coals to be selected whereas now they think 'should I go surfing', 'shall I have this Saturday off to go Christmas shopping with the misses', oh, 'it's my mates stag-do'.

"They had so much technology when he went back to help out at Newquay when they had no manager a few years ago. Trevor knew how to answer a call but that was as good as it got so to get a text message on a Saturday morning to say ‘sorry mate, I can't make it today’, just absolutely frustrated the hell out of him. There isn't that commitment anymore and that is why he went to go and help out with the kids because he got so much enjoyment out of helping them to improve their game on a Saturday morning.

"After Newquay Youth's mini-clubs, him and Martin Burnell and a couple of others ran a development centre. Trevor and Martin were instrumental in setting that up and they would see which of the players had the potential with more coaching. They still run it but Trevor had not been since July or August time. He loved going there. Actually, it only came last week, they sent a framed photo of all the kids on the astroturf with a get well card just a couple of days before he died."

The outpouring of grief has been apparent across the county with messages flooding social media and local football forums.

"He died at 12.30am on Friday so while we were waiting for the out of hours doctor I rang Glynn Hooper but George Torrance, Kevin Miller, James Miller, people like that, I sent texts to. I didn't want them to wake up and suddenly hear it from elsewhere. There were lots of other people that I thought to text but then I got phonecalls asking if it was true because they had heard it on the news.

"It went crazy. It has been quite overwhelming. If the phone hasn't been ringing, it has been ping, ping, ping with texts. There is certainly a lot of love about and I am very grateful.”

Trevor leaves behind wife Jill, step-son Paul, mother-in-law Mena and Johnny. His funeral will take place at St Enoder Parish Church on Friday, December 29 at 2pm followed by interment at Indian Queens Cemetery. A reception will be held at The Blue Anchor, Fraddon.

Jill concluded: "I will remember the things that people probably didn't see. He was kind, generous, loving, quite shy actually. As forceful as he was on the football pitch, in his day to day life he was quite shy and very, very tolerant because there is 16 years difference between us and I can be quite full on. Who is going to carry me home from the pub in Spain now, I don't know? The amount of times he carried me home and put me to bed, I was very adored.

"If any of his ex-players, which there are many, would like to form a guard of honour, I would like them to wear a white rose buttonhole because the white rose is the symbol of Cornwall and he was very, very Cornish.

“The family will all be wearing a white rose and if anyone would like to join us they are more than welcome to. If any player wants to come and take part in that guard of honour then they are very welcome to do so."

Please be advised that is is family flowers only but donations can be made in lieu for The Sunrise Appeal, sent C/O The Funeral Director Andrew Henwood, 74, Edgcumbe Ave, Newquay, TR7 2NN.

By Tom Howe 20th December 2017

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