Tributes have been paid to Alfreton Town FC’s co-founder after he died at the age of 94.
Tom McRoy played an instrumental role in founding the current club in 1959.
During his long association with the Reds, he held practically every post within the club, including secretary and chairman.
His son, Ian McRoy, told how the club was his life.
He said: “Nobody was prouder than my dad when Alfreton gained promotion to the Conference Premier three years ago.
“From humble beginnings, the Reds have become known throughout the footballing world and I would like to think that his part in that rise will be remembered with fondness.
“His passion for the game was there for all to see.
“The word ‘legend’ is bandied about at the drop of a hat these days, but I think I can say without fear of contradiction that in this case, he truly was.”
Although he originally hailed from the north east and was a Sunderland fan, Mr McRoy – who passed away last Wednesday – was often referred to as Mr Alfreton Town.
He was presented with a lifetime award to recognise his service in September 2012 and also has a stand named after him at the Reds’ Impact Arena.
A spokesman for Alfreton Town FC said: “A passionate football man, it is perhaps somewhat fitting that he passed away on the night his beloved Sunderland reached a major cup final. He will most certainly be looking down with pride.
“A true legend in every sense of the word, Tom commanded the utmost respect not just within the club, but also in far-reaching football circles.
“He was a total gentleman who had time for everyone and limitless stories to tell.
“Rest in peace, Tom. You will be sorely missed by everyone at Alfreton Town FC.”
The spokesman extended the club’s sympathies to Mr McRoy’s family.