Frederick Philip Groves 14th January 1942 – 16th November 2018

It is with great sadness that we write this tribute to a well respected man and honorary life-long member of the league.

Phil, as he was always known, lived in Dudley and attended St. Thomas’s primary school, later going on to Dudley Grammar School.  He lost his own father when aged 11 and it was then that Phil’s sense of family and responsibility kicked in.  He had the opportunity to go to university but chose instead to leave school at the age of 15 to help support his Mum.

He had several jobs before going on to Steel Parts where a young Christine Marsh came to work in the accounts office; they started dating and were married on 26th April 1969 at St. Francis’s Church.  The new Mr & Mrs Groves settled down to married life and Phil cheered Chris on with her netballing.  She then joined Grasshoppers Netball Club and in the early days they did a lot of touring all over the country, not just days but weekends as well, and yes, Phil was there to help out with the driving and became a fatherly figure looking after the player’s children.

When Chris became Chairman of the league he continued to offer his support when needed.  Phil helped out as scorer at the end of season tournaments, held in July and September; sitting quietly as the match cards came in and doing the analysis.  He took a very responsible job off the committee so that they could concentrate on other duties to make the events a success.  The lower division’s tournament in July always coincided with the men’s tennis final at Wimbledon; Phil loved tennis and used to bring along a portable television so we could keep in touch with the match.  He continued to be very supportive to Joyce Smailes, who was Chris’s successor when she stepped down from the Chairman’s role.

His number one priority was always to look after his family; he enjoyed being Dad to Becky and encouraged her interests, taking her twice a week to the Dell for athletics; he was persuaded to become more involved in the athletics club until he found himself as the announcer at some of the local meetings.  They also went to Cradley to watch speedway and when that closed, they drove every weekend to either the Stoke or Wolverhampton meetings.

He and Chris enjoyed their National Trust membership to the full, planning holidays around visits to stately homes and beautiful parkland.  Phil loved to be outdoors, whether out for long walks with the family or out in the garden, either digging, nurturing his beautiful orchids or watching the birds and crossing them off on his RSPB bird count.

In later years he became a Grandad and when he retired aged 65, this gave him the opportunity to help out with his two grandsons, he absolutely loved spending time with them; to Freddie and Lawson he was a hero, an explorer and a best friend.

Phil passed away at home with his family by his side.

On behalf of all who knew him, thank you Phil for being the kind of man that everyone loves, such a nice gentleman; always trying to do things for others and putting them first.

RIP Phil.


Date for your Diary

This year’s presentation evening will be on Friday 14th September, more information and ticket details to follow!


The nominations for the West Midlands Goalden Globes have been released this week and it is wonderful to see so many people associated with the Dudley Netball League nominated, not least our very own Chair and Vice-Chair Women, Sally-Ann Chambers and Jo Steventon. Other nominations include Diane Barber, Sarah Brown, Hannah Williams, Rob Tozer and Ryland and Libra Lea Netball Clubs. Congratulations and Good Luck to you all!

Goalden GLobes 2018

Gold Coast To Dudley Netball League – Commonwealth Gold At Grassroots Netball

We were proud to welcome England netball assistant coach Colette Thompson, who was supporting her club Linden at a local league game on Monday evening. Fantastic to see the support for grassroots by a member of the commonwealth gold medal winning team.
Massive admiration and respect to Colette for her continued support and work across all levels of netball, and assisting in bringing that GOLD home!

West Midlands Regional Update

There has also been success at Regional Level for clubs who are involved in the Dudley Netball League. Dudley Leisure had success in winning Division 1 and Grasshoppers have got into Division 3. Congratulations all round!


smiley-crossing-fingersCongratulations to Sally Ann Chambers for winning the Grass Roots Coach Award at the West Midlands Goalden Globe Awards on 30th June 2017.

Congratulations also go to Midrange Netball Club who won the Outstanding Netball Club award at the same event.
Both Sally and Midrange will now go on to represent the West Midlands at the National Awards – Good Luck from us all at Dudley Netball!

Sally Ann Chambers – Congratulations!

sallyA BIG congratulations from all at Dudley Netball League to Sally-Ann Chambers, who was recently awarded Coach of the Year at the 2016 Black Country Sport and Physical Activity Awards and was shortlisted for the West Midlands Coach of the Year in November 2016.

As well as being our Chair, Sally is a member of Midrange Netball Club in Dudley.  She coaches the junior section including U14, U12 and U8 girls. She is an excellent role model and inspiration, working hard at all that she takes on and inspiring people to both play and coach the sport that we love.

“I believe that everybody should be given the opportunity to do sport, and be given time to find their passion and love for a sport”  Sally Ann Chambers