[OBITUARY]Phil Stephens, whose pioneering coverage of soccer touched many in the American soccer community for more than 40 years, passed away on Thursday morning at the age of 65 in Rowlett, Texas, following unexpected surgery.
Stephens chronicled the rise of Dallas soccer from the early days of the Dallas Tornado and the youth soccer boom in the early 1970s. He was one of the first photographers to cover women's soccer in the 1970s and 1980s and was Soccer America's photographer at the 1991 Women's World Cup in China. He went on to cover the 1995 Women's World Cup in Sweden and the 1999 Women's World Cup in the USA. He also covered the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, the 1996 Olympics and 1987 and 1989 Under-20 World Cups.
He regularly attended many of the nation's largest youth tournaments, where his photography helped make them national events.
He began covering Dallas soccer for Soccer America as a writer and photographer in the early 1970s. He served as the sports editor of the Park Cities People, a Dallas community newspaper, for 32 years (1976-2008) and was also the editor of DallasSoccerNews.com (2005-12).
Soccer America expresses its condolences to Phil's wife, Gail Phillips Stephens, and his children, daughters Meg and Brittany and sons RyanandBrent. He is also survived by his sister Teri Stephens Smesrud and brother Michael.
The funeral service will be held Sunday, July 20, at 3 p.m. at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas. Visitation: 6-8 p.m. on Saturday July 19 at 3404 Nova Trl, Plano, Texas.
(Click here for Phil Stephens Facebook page.)