Stan Collymore and Carol Bailey pay tribute to former Stafford Rangers defender

Stan Collymore and Stafford Rangers director Carol Bailey have paid tribute to former Boro defender Steve Essex.

Steve Essex.
Steve Essex.

Essex died of bile duct and pancreatic cancer last weekend at the age of 58.

A non-league stalwart, he played for a number of clubs in the area, but spent several years at Rangers.

Essex made his Boro debut in August 1989 and went on to make 240 appearances across the next five years, winning player of the year in 1991.

Collymore said: “Sad to hear the news of the passing of an old Stafford Rangers team mate, Steve Essex, of cancer, age 58.

“He gave blood regularly and wanted more (only three per cent of 17 to 64 year old men do currently) to do so. Please consider giving blood. Rest in peace, Esso.”

Collymore played alongside Essex for Rangers before a successful career at Liverpool and Villa.

Bailey, who is vice-chairperson at Rangers, recalled watching Essex at the heart of the Stafford defence.

She told the Express & Star: “It was an extremely sad time when we heard the news that Steve had passed away.

“Steve was a fantastic player for Stafford Rangers, a dominant defender; he formed a strong partnership with Wayne Simpson at the heart of our defence.

“I have been a Rangers supporter all my life and during this time I attended all games both home and away.

“Steve was totally committed to Stafford Rangers always giving a hundred per cent.

"He was such a lovely person who always took the time to chat to supporters.

“You won’t find anyone with a bad word to say about Steve, he was such a well loved person.

“Years later I met up with him again as he attended a fundraiser in the social club, he was keen once again to help Stafford Rangers.”

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