The F.A. will rename one of the pitches at St George’s Park to honour the life of former centre-back Jon Gittens.
Gittens, who passed away in May 2019 at the age of 55, is considered a role model in English football due to his work in further education and the BAME community. He also worked as a coach educator for the F.A. from 2012 until his death.
St George’s Park decided to announce the renaming so that it coincided with Black History Month in October. Pitch 7a has been chosen as the newly-named Jon Gittens Pitch, and a special service may be held in the New Year.
On Wednesday 4 September 2019 saw a memorial bench unveiled at St. George’s Park in memory of FA National Coach Developer Jon Gittens.
F.A. national coach development lead Steve Smithies says that Gittens was a well-respected figure and that he deserves to be recognized.
“Jon was a very committed person, had a passion for coach development and a passion for excellence. During that time, he positively influenced thousands of coaches,” Smithies said.
“Jon always had time for people and was always happy to offer advice, support and guidance to anyone who needed it. He is remembered by his friends and colleagues as an authentic and inspirational leader.”
Gittens spent 16 years as a player across different nine different teams. He is best known for his defensive partnership with Colin Calderwood during their time at Swindon Town.
He also managed non-league clubs Fareham Town and Blackfield & Langley before he decided to pursue his UEFA A coaching badges.