'They adored him' - tributes paid to football coach

5:30pm Friday 6th June 2014

By Anna Slater

Tributes have been paid to an “unbelievable” football coach who was “more like an uncle” to the boys he trained.

Adam Clifft, of Bramber Road, North Finchley, died suddenly after a brain haemmorage on Friday, May 30.

The 41-year-old father leaves a “huge" football legacy in Barnet, having helped hundreds achieve their dreams of playing in a team through his business, the Adam Clifft Soccer Coaching School.

Just two weeks before his death, he became a godfather to Alife, 18 months, the son of his best friend Ross Coen.

Mr Coen, 30, said: “He was a genuinely wicked bloke. Everyone who met him loved him. With regards to his football coaching his enthusiasm and passion could not be matched. He loved to see his kids playing good football.

“They adored him. Sometimes he would be the only one who could knock sense into them when it came to school work or attitude. He was more like an uncle to them, he treated them like adults.

“He had a very unique van that you could not miss. His look was unique too with his big shiny head - but most of all a one in a million a brilliant man."

Mr Clifft was born and bred in Finchley, and he launched his the Adam Clifft Soccer School after leaving leaving Ashmole Secondary at the age of 18. He also played for Barnet FC before an injury forced him to retire.

The coach was instrumental in helping make Whetstone Wanderers the envy of other youth teams in the area, having helped scout and trained many of its footballers.

Before his death, he had been due to move to Ireland to be with his brother and new girlfriend, Grainne.

He also leaves behind a 15-year-old daughter, Abbie, who Mr Coen says is “the spitting image” of her father.

He added: “Abbie is just like him, he still lives in her. She’s caring and level-headed, just like he was.

“He was a huge Spurs fan and watching how animated he got over the football was always good fun.

“Fortunately he had already said goodbye to many of his friends as he was going to Ireland but there were still so many who didn’t get that chance. I will miss him every day, but I take comfort in knowing he was really happy at the end.”

His family and friends are now raising money for the Brain Research Trust. For more information, visit http://adam.clifft.muchloved.com/

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