Tributes to devoted Spireite and 'larger than life' Chesterfield family man after tragic death

A family has paid a moving tribute to a ‘larger than life’ Chesterfield grandad who was well-known in the town for his devotion to the Spireites.

Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 4:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 5:24 pm

Robert Wilmot lost a short battle with Covid-19 and passed away at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, aged 68, on Monday, April 13.

The devoted family man and former window cleaner, who became famous for wearing a kilt to Chesterfield FC’s biggest games and organising away day coach trips, had been diagnosed with myeloma in January.

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Robert Wilmot, a massive Spireite and well known in the Chesterfield area, seen in his kilt.

A statement released by Robert’s family said: “He had a good sense of humour and unmistakable laugh, he never took himself too seriously even when he was the butt of the joke.”

Robert’s wife Susan said her husband had ‘an enjoyable social life’ and had been an avid Spireite since the 1960’s.

Beginning in 1968, Robert and his great friend Barry Watson began organising coach trips for Chesterfield away games, picking up at the Town Hall.

A few years later, the trips were run from the Masons Arms, on Chatsworth Road, using Branson’s coaches.

Robert Wilmot was a massive Spireite and well-known in the Chesterfield area.

“Any money he earned through arranging the trips to away games, he always donated to the club,” the family statement said.

“Robert also arranged rail trips and on one occasion, even a flight to the Glasgow Rangers game in 1980!

“He was well known for wearing his kilt for cup matches or special occasions.”

John Croot, director of Chesterfield FC, said: “Rob has been a friend for of mine for many years, I have great memories of travelling the length and breadth of the country watching the Spireites with him.

“He was extremely popular, always willing to help the club and was known by many of our supporters, he will be sadly missed at the Proact Stadium.”

Robert ‘had far too many friends’ to mention them all but he particularly enjoyed meeting close pal Brian Albets for a coffee.

He was a well-known figure in Brampton where he did his rounds as a window cleaner and lived for 35 years.

After moving to New Whittington, Robert continued to meet up with a group of his friends in Brampton, where they took part in the Victoria pub quiz every Monday night for many years.

Susan says she has been touched by the well wishes since Robert’s death and offered ‘a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has paid tribute or sent their condolences’.

She has also thanked staff at Chesterfield Royal Hospital for everything they did for her husband and family members Lindsay, Victor and Jeffrey for their ‘kind help and support’.

“Robert will be sorely missed and very fondly remembered by all,” the family statement added. “A true Spireite and much loved family man! Gone too soon, we will miss you.”

His funeral will take place on April 29 at Chesterfield Crematorium – but attendance has been strictly limited to immediate family because of the lockdown.

A get-together will be organised by his friends and held as soon as the situation returns to normal.

Funeral directors Freeman Daynes are putting a donation page together in Robert’s memory for the NGS Macmillan Unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

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