IN PRAISE OF JERRY JAIRETTE – PLAYERS, COACHES AND MANAGERS PAY TRIBUTE TO CLAPTON’S TESTIMONIAL HERO

Jerry Jairette in action for Old Ford Under 9s

Neil Day

If one player deserves the adulation of the supporters it is Jerry.

I’m taken back to the pre Ultras days with Woodsy and myself trying to put a team together. A guy turns up at training, cigarette in his mouth and probably the worst refuelling habits seen even at the Spotted Dog.

But this guy could really play, any position, any conditions, 1 fan or 500, 100% commitment every time.

Jerry’s the hardest working player I’ve ever seen and I don’t give that accolade out lightly. A coach’s dream, versatile, fearless and unfazed by any opposition.

Our paths have crossed a few times in recent years on opposing sides and he was as much the heartbeat of the new improved Clapton as he was all those years before.

A heartfelt thanks for all his efforts for Chris and me in the past. Well done Abs, proud of you.

Jonny Fowell

When I first met the players I said I wanted to win the league. Jerry laughed and said “not with no budget, I’m Clapton captain and we have never challenged”. But he has been a true leader and loves Clapton.

I love his attitude towards the game. He’s a great lad and deserve everything he gets on Saturday. Hope the fans turn up in their hundreds.

Marc Nurse-Moore

I have known Jerry for 6 years mainly as his football coach and it has been a pleasure.

Jerry is a player with tremendous ability who should be playing at a higher level, however  his commitment has helped Clapton improve over recent years.

10 years is a massive achievement at this level.

Stuart Purcell

Jerry was always very committed and passionate about playing for Clapton and also ensuring everyone else had the same level  of desire. Big character in the dressing room. Top player and top lad.

Enrico Tiritera

A versatile player from central midfielder to left winger to left back and even goalkeeper.

In the Gordon Brasted semi-final 1-0 win v Haringey he made a great goal line save to deny them a goal. He was red carded but the penalty saved.

Couldn’t ask more from a great team player! Clapton legend.

Andre Thomas

Saturday 23rd August 2016, my second game in charge and my first 3pm Saturday game. Some will remember it as Clapton’s 138th birthday, others because we won 5-2 vs Eton Manor, but I’ll always remember it for the conversation I heard in the players’ huddle right before kick-off.

There was no shock to whose voice was loudest, rallying reassuring and encouraging his teammates. Yeah, you guessed it, our captain, our leader and our legend, Jerry Jairette.

As I walked over, I heard Jerry say: “We all like Dré and we all want him to get the job, let’s go and put our all in for him.” I heard this but until now I haven’t told anyone. I didn’t want anyone to see how much these words touched me and wanted the boys to remain focused.

So I went to the dugout, took my seat, soaked it in and smiled. I said to myself, “if an influential, hardworking, committed, talented consistent player thinks highly of me after only working with me for a season, I must be OK”.

And that’s what Jerry does. He inspires, he fights, he believes, he speaks his mind, he executes his ideas. He doesn’t know when and how to stop. He doesn’t know how to give up or give in. Some of the many reasons why we’re here celebrating his 10 years at Clapton.

He’s been a joy to work with. His attitude, perseverance and open nature has helped me as a coach as I now have a basis for what I expect from players as a minimum.
To put the cherry on top, Jerry is a top, top player. His anticipation, tactical nous, technical ability and skill set, his first touch, his vision, his fitness and his heart is unmatched.

Jerry isn’t a player who WILL play anywhere. Jerry is a player who CAN play everywhere. There is a big difference. He understands the game, what is required from each position from 1-11 and wins his individual battle, inspiring his teammates to follow.

Can you please name me another player, at any level, who has kept a clean sheet, saved a penalty, scored, created assists…all in one season!…..for 10 seasons?!

Mike Walther

Jerry was always a major player both in and out of the dressing room. He has Clapton in his blood.

Sometimes you would get a call at 1.15pm on a Saturday saying he could not make it, he would train infrequently, and sometimes looked worse for wear.

But when Jerry stepped onto the pitch, he was like a man possessed.

In the Gordon Brasted Cup Final win against Stansted, Jerry was a key figure in keeping the danger man quiet.

The biggest compliment I can give Jerry is that he is the best all round player in my time at the club.

Warren Mfula, Fahad Nyanja, Eamon Payne, Nathan Cook, Johnny Ashman, Paul Oshin, Sherwin Stanley, all played for me at Clapton, but for all their ability, Jerry is the best all round player.

If ever I needed a player to be stopped in the game, Jerry was the man, and on the ball, everyone knows he is quality. He is the only player at Clapton who anticipates the bounce, and plays every pass on the volley!

Chris Wood

Great to see Jerry has been honoured with a testimonial, hope he gets the gate receipts! A tireless worker, a player that could adapt to any position, even keeper!

Sometimes I would wish for his efforts on the pitch to rub off on the other lads, but then next game he’d stroll into the changing room at 10 to 3!

Well done Jerry enjoy your game, you’re like a stick of rock, red and white with Clapton written through the middle.

Johnny Ashman

Jerry as a leader is second to none, his professional attitude kicks in as soon as he gets in the changing room and that only spreads to the other players.

He is also technically a good footballer making the Spotted Dog look like he’s playing on Camp Nou at times.

He’s also not afraid to make a crunching tackle to get the team going if it’s needed. I hope to see him playing for many seasons to come.

Shomari Barnwell

Great guy and really welcoming when I first came to the club and he was a great leader as everyone knows. Heart of a lion and he always gives 100 percent for the team and the fans.

James Briggs

He’s the most diehard player I’ve ever played with and knows exactly how to motivate you when you’re not on your game! He can mix his game from intricate passing to aggressive tackles.

Off the pitch he’s even better, he says it how it is and is always up for a laugh. Proper legend!

Khadean Campbell

On the pitch i have never seen anyone with so much heart and passion like Jerry, like Clapton’s Kante! Was a pleasure to play with and off the pitch you couldn’t meet a nicer guy. Fighter on the pitch and a great guy off it, he deserves this testimonial.

Tony Cookey

Jerry is an amazing person on and off the pitch, hard worker and always determined to win. He is a winner, Glad to have played with such a professional.

Quincy Egbejale

Jerry is a great leader off and on the pitch. He’s willing to do anything in order for the team to win! He’s a great man as he encourage us younger lads to strive for more at the club.

Kristian Haighton

Jerry – aka Mr Clapton! He has been at the club many years now and you can see that in the way that he plays with heart and desire.

He has a lot of passion for the club and so much love for the fans. The fans deserve fight, passion, love, desire from all players but Jerry consistently shows that through every performance.

Tom Jeffes

A player who has fantastic ability that can turn a game on its head in the blink of an eye. I have seen so many wonders in the short period I was there. Jerry also has a nasty side that you need in every team, a player that you love playing with but hate playing against.

A top bloke who deserves this weekend for the superb service he has given the club through a very tough period. Top man.

Leon Lewis

A hardworking, loyal, inspirational, great leader. At training he’s unstoppable!

Warren Mfula

Jerry’s commitment and love for the club showed in every single match he was involved inn.

He even volunteered to play in any position he was asked to and even in goal so that alone shows what kind of love he has for the club.

I am very happy for the club to organise a testimonial match for him. True Clapton legend.

Fahad Nyanja

I first met Jerry when I was playing for Claptons under 16 and he was in the senior team.

He was a very aggressive player who never backed out of a challenge. He loved slide tackling which I thought was crazy given the state of the pitch at the time.

A very versatile player. Played in goal, defence, midfield and striker. I actually don’t know what he’s best position is.

Off the pitch he’s a great family man. Has two beautiful kids. He’s always given me positive advice on and off the pitch.

Always tells me how I could be a better player if I ever had a first touch. So every time I train with him or play with him I am always trying to prove to him that I have worked on my first touch.

During the years I have looked up to him. How he carries himself on the pitch. How he puts 100% and leaves nothing behind.

Geoff Ocran

For the majority of the 10 years Jerry has been at Clapton, we’ve been rivals more than team mates. I often tried to tap him up to join me but his loyalties always remained with his local club.

He’s selfless, optimistic, competitive and passionate about everything he does. Having seen the club transcend from single digit attendances to currently one of the best supported clubs at this level, Jerry deserves every accolade for this achievement.

A true Clapton legend in every sense of the word!

Eamon Payne

The only player who can turn up 2 minutes before a game and be ready to play 120 mins in any position.

He calls things as he sees them, an open-minded person and I respect him as a player and a person.

He speaks to everyone and anyone, a humble Clapton legend and his work ethic is crazy.

He’s a no nonsense hard battler on the pitch and off the pitch he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve met.

Ryan Reed

For the season I’ve played with Jerry you can see his heart when playing for Clapton FC. Every game, every minute he plays he gives 100% and you can’t teach that,

So fair play to Mr Clapton.

Jake Stevens

Jerry is a top player, great footballing brain and bundles of technical ability.

Playing with him was easy, because you always knew he would do something positive with the ball (it helps that he knows every bobble and hole on the Spotted Dog like the back of his hand).

What stands out to me above his footballing talents, was his pure passion for the club and fans. As a new player he drags you into the club ethos and makes you feel a part of it immediately.

He played in every position available, never grumbled and excelled at every one.

Favourite memory is his Suarez-esque ‘save’ in the 1-0 Cup Semi-Final win vs Haringey in 2015, he got a red card, they missed the penalty and we went through.