Tributes have poured in for former Chesterfield chairman Mike Watterson, who has died aged 76.
Mr Watterson will forever be remembered for helping save his hometown club from being wound up in 1983 when he provided the £91,000 needed to satisfy the High Court, while still on the board at Derby County.
Due to his involvement with the Rams, Mr Watterson’s role in saving the Spireites wasn’t known until much later when he joined the board at Saltergate during which time the team won the Fourth Division title.
He then became chairman in 1986.
A tribute on Chesterfield’s website reads: “Mike continued to live in the town and was generous with his time when people wanted to talk about his life. He did return to the club to watch at the Proact Stadium. Our thoughts are with Mike’s family and friends following their sad loss.”
The Chesterfield FC PFA said: “Sad to hear the news that former Director Mike Watterson has passed away. In 1983 it was his money that stopped @ChesterfieldFC being wound up & he later became Chairman. Away from football, his contribution to changing the sport of snooker cannot be underestimated.”
Mr Watterson was a well-known figure throughout sport for his success in promoting both snooker and darts.
He was a top-40 ranked professional snooker player and was the man who brought the World Championships to Sheffield.
He also established the World Darts Championships and UK Indoor Bowls Championships, suiting both for TV audiences.
And there have been no shortage of tributes made following the news of his passing over the weekend.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn and WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson said: “Mike made a huge contribution to the history of our sport. Without him, the World Championship may never have been staged at the Crucible, and he played a vital role in the creation of many other tournaments. On behalf of World Snooker and WPBSA we send our condolences to his family at this sad time.”
Three-time world darts champion John Lowe MBE said: “My good friend Mike Watterson passed away Friday night, without Mike’s contribution darts would not be where it is today, he was the founder of the Embassy World Darts Championship, R.I.P. my friend.”