Ashworth leads tributes to 'brilliant' Bate

FA Technical Director Dan Ashworth says England has lost its finest coach educator following the death of Dick Bate at the age of 71.

Bate worked for the FA for 20 years in three separate spells, including as their Elite Coaching Manager. His glittering CV included spells as a manager, assistant and technical director, at both home and abroad, and he had recently worked as a consultant with Burnley’s Academy.

As a coach educator, he was beyond compare, according to Ashworth.

“I first encountered Dick at a seminar on coach education in Peterborough and his knowledge and passion for the game shone through," Ashworth told TGG. "Then I was lucky enough to be on one of his A Licence courses.

“He had such depth of knowledge, was a brilliant communicator and was extremely detailed and thorough in his work. He was a real guru.

"We’ve had some excellent coach educators in this country, people like John Peacock, Steve Rutter, Howard Wilkinson, but I would go so far as to say Dick was the best.

"He was still working on the A Licence and Pro Licence courses in recent years and remained a real forward thinker.

"The last time we spoke he was about to go off and do some work for Fifa in the Far East. English football owes him a great debt and he will be sorely missed.”

Burnley manager Sean Dyche also paid tribute to Bate. The duo became good friends when Dyche was managing Watford and Bate was Technical Director of the club.

“It’s terribly sad news that Dick, who has been a consultant within our U23s and Youth Academy, has passed away,” Dyche said.

"He was a fantastic coach and coach educator, but beyond that he was someone who cared deeply about the players and the coaches alike.

"A work colleague, but also a friend who had a big influence on me as a person and as a coach, our hearts and thoughts are with his family and friends.”

And former England rugby coach Brian Ashton, who worked with Bate for the FA, told TGG: “Dick was a very forward-thinking coach and a very nice man. We shared common beliefs about coaching. This is really sad news.”

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