This tribute to Steve Harding shows just how much love and respect the Torrens Valley Soccer Club has for those who work hard, are humble and give so much to the players and members of their sporting community. Steve Harding is just that man, and is utterly deserving of these words to honour him.
Occasionally in life, one is privileged to have come across an individual who is a true giver to those around them.
The Torrens Valley Soccer Club has been fortunate, like many other sporting & recreation bodies, to be blessed with a number of true givers, but none more so than a quiet, unassuming chap who has been a behind-the-scenes do-er for 25 years.
Steve Harding first started with the club in the early '90s when his two sons started playing in the U7 beginners. From the beginning, Steve took up the role as a helper and was soon roped in to the coaching role, which he continued to fill for many years, helping countless lads to learn the game he loved. He also joined the fledgling senior players group who enthusiastically came out each week in the mistaken belief that they could still play soccer! Some days they got close but usually it was an excuse to inflict another injury on themselves that had to be nursed through the following week until the next game.
During these hectic times, Steve became heavily involved in the running of the club and the development of the facilities and worked continuously on improving the club’s playing field and clubhouse. His ability to conjure up equipment, building materials, tools and supplies for a bargain price was legendary and enabled the Torrens Valley Soccer Club to prosper and grow to one of the more established clubs in the Adelaide Hills region.
He was also one to quietly put in countless hours per week carrying out the many and varied tasks which all clubs require and did so without any need for acknowledgement, the mark of a true giver.
As Steve’s playing days grew to a close and his injuries became harder to overcome by the next match, he turned to refereeing and soon became one of the most respected match officials in the region. His lads by this stage were coming near the end of their junior career and it was time for him to help out all the other kids coming through. It was common to see him refereeing 3 or 4 matches on Saturdays from 8 year olds through to 17’s and for those matches he was paid he often gave the money straight back to the club. 10 years on, he still referees the senior home games and donates half the fees back.
For many years Steve was involved in the club committee in various roles and served as club treasurer for an extended period. He was always first to help with club fund raisers, working bees and special events and was a major driver for facility improvements.
The last 5 years have been much more difficult for Steve’s family as they have had to deal with a number of tragedies, with the loss of one of their beloved sons, Boyd, an active club player for 17 years and within 2 years, his beloved and forever supportive wife Alison.
Although now retired, Steve still referees on Saturdays and can often be caught at the club grounds fixing the odd broken fence, goals, back nets, cutting grass, etc, etc. Many new members have no idea who this friendly chap with the wry sense of humour is, which I’m sure is just the way Steve likes it.
However, there comes a time when a club needs to honour those that have devoted so much of their time and energy to build a community group which benefits so many others. It was one of my great privilege’s as Club chairman 6 years ago to tell Steve’s story and award him a life membership of the Torrens Valley Soccer Club, which he accepted humbly and with great appreciation.
It now only remains to let everyone who walks into our club a chance to see just who those are that have dedicated their spare time to build what stands today. For this reason, it would be fitting that an honour board donated in the name of Steve Harding would be a proper tribute, so that those who follow will not forget.
Yours sincerely, Andrew Miller
Chairman, Torrens Valley SC