In the loving Memory & Spirit of the Game
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-= The Tributes of KEN ASTON MBE #07 =-
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Jim Gregory Comment on…

Where The New AYSO Instructor Program Motto

“Everyone Learns” Came From

-----Original Message-----

From: Jim Gregory []
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2001 9:07 AM
To: aysolaw5@AYSO-L.ORG

Subject: Ken Aston Page

This Is A True Story...

Where The New AYSO Instructor Program Motto “Everyone Learns” Came From

I have read many of the outstanding tributes to Ken Aston that have been written over the past several days. It is clearly evident that Ken touched many of us in AYSO. His stories and relating experiences have made each of us better referees and better AYSO volunteers, Like many of us I had the pleasure of listening and learning from our dear friend Ken over the years. He always had time to teach and tell us stories that we could relate to becoming better referees.

This is clearly evidenced by a recent email I exchanged with Ken on September 3, 2001 “Don’t ask me why I’m downstairs at 0250 am - but I am!” With which he proceeded to give me advice about an upcoming difficult game.

I don’t know if he realized how great and how far his sphere of influence was, especially upon all of us in AYSO. A true example of this is the many pictures that were taken with AYSO volunteers and Ken over the years. The volunteers and Ken are smiling – happy to be together.

Ken truly cared about the people in AYSO. In a recent conversation we had Ken said, “The great thing about AYSO is the number of great people one meets.” How very true are these words of wisdom!

If I were to write all the words of wisdom that Ken shared with us over the years I would be writing the longest letter ever written, and most would not be able to download it on their computer without upgrading the memory in their computer. I do however want to share what I consider the most important thing that I believe Ken shared. It’s not a quote or a story about how to handle a match. It’s not about the history of the game, it’s more important then that. What Ken shared with us was LOVE. A love for the game of soccer, a love for officiating the game of soccer, and a love for each other in AYSO. As Ken once said, “ soccer is not a matter of life or death it’s more important then that.” To take it a step further, I believe that Ken felt that the friendships he made in AYSO were equally as important as the game of soccer.

Ken loved sharing stories with us. In a recent email I received from him he related the following story:

“A little soccer story in these days of sadness to hopefully bring a smile to your lips. An English tourist visits an Indian Reservation. He sees a wigwam with a notice saying 'Chief Black Hawk can answer any question at all that you ask him. Five dollars` He went in and asked 'Who scored the winning goal in the 1926 English Cup Final at Wembley?` 'Charles Hughes` came the answer and he was right! Five years later the tourist repeats his visit and again visits Chief Black Hawk. He enters the wigwam and gives the traditional Indian greeting 'How` 'Diving header in the top right-hand corner` came the instant reply!! Kindest regards!”

Ken touched my life personally and for that I am ever grateful. In an exchange of questions and answers Ken and I had I will always remember his words to me when I answered a difficult situation correctly. “Well done my good and faithful servant, well done.”

To summarize my feelings about Ken – How? A friend, a teacher, a leader, a mentor, a father figure, a kind and wonderful man who changed my life personally and I know who changed the lives of many. It was with Ken’s inspiration that I arrived upon the motto for the AYSO Instructor program “EVERYONE LEARNS”. He made each of us learners – students and teachers alike.

With tears in my eyes I truly believe that as Ken now goes to the big game in eternity he is greeted with the words...



Jim Gregory
AYSO Manager of Instruction


"Everyone Learns"

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