Helping others is second nature for stand-in goalie Ash

BRIGHOUSE Juniors coach Ash Airey has a natural tendency to help and stepped in after tragedy at a Halifax football club.

After helping a number of clubs, the 40-year-old was planning to hang up his boots when tragedy struck at AFC Crossleys in the Halifax Saturday League.

Their 29-year-old goal keeper Chris Ogden collapsed and died at a training session two months ago and at the request of a friend at the club Ash is now keeping goal for them.

“Obviously it is not under the best of circumstances, but I am happy to help and will do a job for the club.

“I will stick with it until the end of the season and then see how I feel after that,” he said.

Ash has helped at Brighouse Juniors since his son Matthew joined the under-six team.

He is now in the under-10s and Ash looks after the A and C teams of the under-10s.

His role now goes further with the Juniors and he is on the management comittee and is also the social chairman.

“It is in my nature really to join in and help out, but it doesn’t leave much time for anything else,” he said.

Married to Claire for 17 years and working for Barclays Bank during the day, Ash’s other passion, cricket, has had to fall by the wayside.

“Obviously a cricket match day is a full day out plus when they started paying people to play it took the spark out of it for me.”

He had played for Mirfield Parish since he was 12 and son Matthew is in the under-11s.

In football, he was a regular in the first team at West Riding CAL club Lower Hopton until work got in the way.

He was all set for hanging up his boots, but his neighbour Mark Wheelright persuaded him to get them back on when they were short at the Greyhound public house team in Rastrick.

Since that time just over 10 years ago he has also stepped out for the now defunct Bramble and most recently for The Junction.