TRIBUTES have been paid to Henry Hicks, who devoted more than 55 years of his life to Wadebridge Town Football Club.
Mr Hicks died last Sunday evening at the age of 82 following a long fight with illness.
He had carried out just about every duty in the running of a football club since first walking through the gates at Bodieve Park 56 years ago.
As a young man he played for St Stephen, Summercourt and Grampound Road and his love affair with the Bridgers began in 1958 when he became involved on the club's committee.
Mr Hicks was a farmer at the time and his work as a bingo caller in the town helped draw in some much-needed extra revenue for the football club.
After a spell on the buses, which meant working away at weekends, he was soon back and involved on match days.
Since then Mr Hicks was a virtual ever-present at the club, as a groundsman for 20 years, committee member, chairman, vice- chairman and president, being made a life member for his loyalty.
In 2012 he was presented with an award by the Cornwall County Football Association for his 50 years of service to the club.
Until recently he was still overseeing and sorting out many issues at the club, keeping an eye on the quality of the footballs, corner flags and the overall condition of the ground.
Mr Hicks married his wife June in 1956 and their only child, Sue, was born in 1958.
Recalling her father as a "loyal, passionate and dedicated" man, she said: "To be so dedicated for so many years and have the passion that he had for the club was phenomenal.
"He just loved being at that football club," she said.
"Sometimes during the week he'd drive up there and just spend an hour sitting in the car looking at the ground.
"He loved his gardening as well; he won all sorts of awards for the flowers and colours he had in his garden.
"I hope he will be remembered as a man with a great passion for his two big hobbies; his football and his gardening."
Wadebridge Town chairman Steve Cudmore said: "Henry was a part of the furniture at Wadebridge and though he retired twice in recent years, he was always at the ground and working hard.
"He regularly attended committee meetings and was made a life member several years ago, and was a great ambassador for Wadebridge Town Football Club."
Mr Hicks' funeral takes place tomorrow at Glynn Valley Crematorium, Bodmin, at 9.30am.