Hucknall Town sing the praises of Gospel

YELLOW THROUGH AND THROUGH -- Hucknall Town stalwart Geoff Gospel, who has died.
YELLOW THROUGH AND THROUGH -- Hucknall Town stalwart Geoff Gospel, who has died.

Fans and officials of HUCKNALL TOWN have paid tribute to one of their most loyal stalwarts and supporters, who has died.

Geoff Gospel (80) was a long-standing committee-man at Town, always willing to help out at Watnall Road.

He passed away earlier this month at Nottingham City Hospital after a brief battle against stomach cancer.

But fans, determined to celebrate his life, attended a special service of thanksgiving at the Watnall Road Baptist Church. Many were there in Yellows colours, while donations were made to Cancer Research UK. Refreshments followed at Town’s Talk Of The Town social club.

One supporter, Derek Harlow, said: “It was a beautiful service. Having only known Geoff through Hucknall Town, it was nice to hear about his other interests.

“One thing became clear and that is he touched so many lives in all aspects of life. I feel honoured to have known him.”

Town’s chief executive, Liz Morley, described Geoff as “a friend and avid Hucknall Town fan, through both the glory days and recent troubled years”.

“Just a few short weeks ago, Geoff was the club’s guest of honour at our last home match of the season against Bilborough Pelican,” said Morley.

“He asked to visit the changing rooms before kick-off, and he gave a rousing speech to the players, which saw them go on to thrash Pelican 7-1.

“The match will stand long in the memory of everyone in attendance at Watnall Road that day.

“The victory was a fitting tribute to a wonderful man whose dedication and support will never be forgotten by anyone involved with the club.”

Geoff leaves his wife, Valerie, sons, Philip and Heather, and grandchildren Loius and Eleni.

Now his family are concentrating on raising funds for the oncology unit at the city hospital where he was treated.

They have launched a charity initiative called ‘A Cracking Innings’, which features a cricket match at Hucknall CC’s New Gatehouse Ground off Hayden Lane on Sunday 20th July.

Said a spokesperson for the family: “We are more determined than ever to raise as much money as possible. The staff at the hospital were wonderful to Geoff and his family.

“We were so pleased to see so many people who knew and loved Geoff at the service to celebrate his own cracking innings.

“We bade a final farewell in the most fantastic way. As Geoff would have said himself, while bouncing around enthusiastically: Come on then, what’s next?.....”

IN other Town news, it has been cinfirmed that the club will be running a reserve-side next season.

They will compete in the Reserves Premier Division of the Central Midlands League.

The 2014/15 season begins in mid-August. Early fixtures are expected to be released within the next month.