When Trust Joint-Chair, Darren Alexander, passed away suddenly in March 2014, it was Jonathan Waite who wrote the Club’s obituary. It was Jonathan Waite who hung the ‘Can’t Smile Without You’ flag at the Benfica match in his memory. And it was Jonathan Waite who let the Trust into White Hart Lane early to lay flowers at his seat. Jonathan’s kindness, empathy and support at that difficult time was a measure of his character. It’s incomprehensible that, four and a half years on, we’re now writing this for Jonathan.
It was impossible not to like, respect and get on with JW. He dealt with every challenge - and there were many - with patience and good humour. He believed in fan consultation and he also worked hard to make fan reps aware of the way the Club operated. He listened and he advised and guided, and we learned so much from him. Simply put, he just ‘got it’.
It’s hard to think of Jonathan without thinking of laughter. He had a great sense of humour, and an unrivalled knowledge of popular culture. Many a conversation was peppered with references to 80's music and vintage TV sitcoms.
Jonathan made time for and cared about people. He brought them together. He was a modest man but was so proud when his work was recognised by the Football Supporters Federation as Supporter Liaison Officer of the Year in 2016. Almost as proud as we were having nominated him for the award!
What’s become even more apparent over the past few hours is just how valued, liked and well-thought of Jonathan was right across the football community. We’ve been contacted by numerous Trust members and Spurs fans saddened by the news and wanting to pass on their condolences; many of whom Jonathan had helped directly. And by fellow Trusts and fan groups at other Clubs, by the Football Supporters’ Federation and by the Premier League. Jonathan’s impact was far reaching, as was his reputation as an effective, smart, committed and honest operator.
JW was a huge part of Spurs for us. You may say he leaves big shoes to fill. The truth is they may as well make new shoes as no-one will ever come close to that. We were extremely lucky to have had him on loan from his beloved QPR for all these years. And he will be deeply missed.
We’ll carry on working hard to build a legacy worthy of Jonathan and send all of our love, best wishes and thoughts to his family, colleagues and friends at this extremely difficult time.
Kat Law and Martin Cloake