The League has learned today that Adrian Titcombe died suddenly whilst away on UEFA business abroad. Our condolences go to Adrian's family, friends and colleagues.
Whilst working for The Football Association, Adrian's roles included Head of Security for Euro 96, Head of Competitions and Registrations, Head of Security and Safety, FA Ground Grader, UEFA Match Deligate and for many years was the man who led the teams out for the FA Cup Final. He also played a leading role and was responsible for the Non League pyramid of football which was the forerunner of today's National League System.
League President, Keith Allen, reflected on his close friend:
"I recall that after gaining a Masters degree in Arabic, he was a tutor at Milfield School in Somerset. He then joined the FA and moved with his wife Jeane and family to live in Harrow.
He was at that time a linesman on the Southern Football League with Alan Foot who is the League's Company Secretary.
I first got to know him in the late 70's when we attempted to re-organise Non-League football, with some limited success. We became firm friends and remained so to this day.
He had various jobs at the FA, ending up as head of ground grading and security. Indeed for 20 years he was seen leading out the teams in the FA Cup final at Wembley.... look at old footage!!
He also was a Match Delegate for UEFA and it was in this role that he was somewhere in Europe when he passed away.
I worked with him for 40 years, men and boys, we had similar views and aspirations on Grading and Non-League football. But we would occasionally have long discussions and differing opinions on certain aspects. But always moved on and agree to differ, as true friends do.
We shared a passion for cricket and enjoyed the odd day at a County match. He was a Member of Someset CCC from his Millfield days until his death. He travelled from Harrow to Taunton regularly to watch county games.
We shared the same ethos for Ground Grading, it had to be right but if it was't help, advise and assist until it was.
We chatted long and regularly on the phone on many subjects, sometimes even football and Ground Grading. He was a life long Fulham FC fan. Our last long phone call was on Monday, mostly about cricket and calls were rarely less than an hour.
As you can imagine I am left devastated. He was concerned with other people's health issues not knowing what was just round the corner for him."
Adrian will be dearly missed by us all.