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Jon Gittens' wife and sons with Geoff Pike at the Jon Gittens Memorial

Wednesday 4 September 2019 saw a memorial bench unveiled at St. George’s Park in memory of FA National Coach Developer Jon Gittens.

Jon Gittens, who died on 10 May 2019 aged 55, has been described as a “role model and pioneer” for his role in English coach education.

Jon’s wife Jayne and sons Alex and Shaun (pictured) were in attendance alongside family friends Sue and Marc Dack for an unveiling led by FA National Coach Developer Lead Geoff Pike and a host of coaching figures who had worked with a man who made a “huge contribution” in supporting, educating and developing coaches for well over a decade.

Having originally been heavily involved in the delivery of FA coaching courses in both the grassroots and professional game, firstly as an affiliate member of staff, Jon had worked as a full-time coach educator for the FA since 2012.

Before he started his coaching journey, Gittens represented Swindon, Southampton, Middlesbrough, Portsmouth, Torquay and Exeter during a 15-year professional playing career. Playing as a central defender he scored a crucial goal to help Middlesbrough seal promotion to the Premier League in 1992.

The memorial bench, located on the approach to St. George’s Park - The home of England’s 28 national teams and FA Education - will now permanently carry his name.

Lucy Pearson, Director of FA Education said: “Jon dedicated himself to helping many coaches develop their expertise over the years; it’s fitting therefore that his legacy will be recognised here at St. George’s Park for years to come.”

In 2021, the Jon Gittens Pitch was officially opened at St. George's Park; a fitting tribute to the legacy of our former colleague, friend and Coach Educator. We were joined by Jon's friends and family as we unveiled the pitch in his honour. Watch the full video below: