Tribute to


23rd December 1943 – 15th december 2020

Schools football lost one its favourite sons when John Larter MBE sadly passed away on 15th December, another tragic victim of coronavirus.

John, who devoted his whole adult life to promoting, administering, coaching and refereeing schools football in Hackney and Inner London, was much loved and respected by the world of football, the teaching profession and the thousands of boys and girls who benefitted from his kindness and visionary leadership. He knew that by inspiring young people to make sport part of their lives he was also helping them to develop the skills they needed to succeed in later life.

John lived his whole life in Hackney. He attended Northwold Primary School and then Hackney Downs Grammar School (on the site of the current Mossbourne Academy). As a teacher he worked in five Hackney schools and was Headteacher at Holmleigh School for thirteen years. He was the driving force of the Hackney Schools Athletic Association which he joined in 1968 before managing the district football team for over a thousand matches. As if that wasn’t enough he also acted as secretary for Hackney and Inner London County Schools FA.

In 1989 John brought Hackney and Inner London Schools to Douglas Eyre Sports Centre and so began a wonderful partnership with London Playing Fields Foundation.

Chief Executive Alex Welsh said: “To those of us who were privileged to know him, John was the perfect gentleman with the highest professional and ethical standards. The awarding of his MBE in 2011 was absolutely deserved and a fitting recognition for his fearless and selfless dedication to school sport. He leaves a hole that can never be filled.”