Many people connected with the J.League will no doubt miss Steve Perryman.
He has been in the news again recently since his former player at Shimizu S-Pulse, Kazuyuki Toda, moved to the club which Perryman captained with such pride, Tottenham Hotspur.
I called Perryman at his London home on Saturday to find his reaction to the Toda transfer.
Unlike most people, Perryman was not surprised, because he had been recommending Toda to Tottenham for the last two years!
"For some reason they did not take the bait, but maybe they were spurred into action because he had been training with another club in the Premier League," said Perryman, referring to Sunderland, where Toda had a trial and impressed their manager, Howard Wilkinson.
Toda finally joined Spurs on a one-year loan deal, which is costing the North London club around $300,000 as a fee to S-Pulse, plus whatever Toda's wages will be.
Perryman, though, will be missed in Japan because of his honesty and his principles of fair play.
He always tried to encourage his teams to play attacking football, and disliked players who cheated, wasted time, dived and who pretended they were injured when there was nothing wrong with them.
"Japan has started late in the football world," he told me on Saturday.
"It can look around the world and take the best things from Brazil, from England, from Holland or wherever.
"And it can also reject things it does not like and does not need. For example in England, yes we will take the passion of the fans, but no we do not want the hooligans."
Perryman always talks such sense.
During his time with S-Pulse, the rivalry with the other Shizuoka club, Jubilo Iwata, was intense.
But Perryman often thought Jubilo got preferential treatment from referees and from officialdom in general, prompting him to once say the "J" in J.League stood for "Jubilo."
Believe it or not, Perryman is actually taking some of the credit for Jubilo's two-stage title sweep last season!
He feels Jubilo won both stages because they "focused on playing football rather than on cheating."
In particular he recalled a game at Nihondaira in April 1999 between S-Pulse and Jubilo, which Jubilo won 5-2.
"We had got it back to 4-2, and one of our players, Hattori, went to retrieve the ball to take it back to the center circle," recalled Perryman.
"But he was stopped from doing this by two Jubilo players, who pinned him into the back of the net.
"There was a bit of pushing, and the referee decided to show Hattori the red card. So the player who had been trying to restart the game was sent off, and the two who stopped him stayed on the field!
"After the game I said to the Jubilo manager that this was the worst day for Japanese football in the history of the J.League."
Perryman criticised Jubilo in the media, and feels his words may have had some effect.
"It takes people to speak out and sometimes make enemies," said Perryman.
"If Jubilo had played football against us all the game they could have beaten us 10-2, not 5-2, because they were so much better than us."
Perryman is missed, maybe not by Jubilo Iwata, but by people who also want to see fair play.