Worksop Town pay tribute to former chairman

Rick Knowles pictured during his Worksop Town days presenting an award to Dave McNicholas.
Rick Knowles pictured during his Worksop Town days presenting an award to Dave McNicholas.

Tributes have been paid to a former Worksop Town chairman after he died last week.

Rick Knowles, who left the Tigers’ board in April 2001 after eight years at the club, was remembered during a perfectly-observed minute’s silence at Sandy Lane on Saturday ahead of the Northern Counties East League (NCEL) Premier Division win over Hemsworth Miners’ Welfare.

His family, including his former wife, Donna, and daugher, Becky, were there to witness the tribute. His son, Bradley, was unable to attend.

The Tigers said in a statement: “The club would like to send its condolences to Rick’s family and friends at this time.”

His nephew, Ryan Hindley, now manager of Hallam FC and a Worksop player when Rick headed the Tigers, said: “A massive thank-you to the club for the minute’s silence. Donna and Becky said it was beautiful.

“I hope the club can also do something in his memory in the future, like naming a stand or bar after him.”

While Rick was at Worksop they were managed by club legend Tommy Spencer and then Paul Mitchell and his assistant Peter Rinkcavage.

They played in Division One of the Northern Premier League before returning to the Premier Division in 1998.

A year later they just missed out on promotion to the Conference after finishing runners-up.

Ryan said: “The good times at Worksop Town were under Rick Knowles’ leadership.

“I got a message from Paul and Pete who said he was a wonderful chairman and a wonderful man.

“The crowds and the atmosphere at Sandy Lane at that time were fantastic.

“You went to games and it was like playing in the Football League. You had a couple of thousand people there and took two and three bus-loads of fans to away games.

“My uncle Rick used to joke if we lost I was no relation to him. He was drier than a desert bone!

“He had an aura about him. He was a proper football chairman. He loved football and he loved the club.

“At that time it was, in my opinion, like a Football League club and that was testament to my uncle Rick. He galvanised the club and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t think the club would exist now.”

Rick, who was in his 60s and lived in the Worksop and Retford areas, was at the Tigers when they persuaded ex-England wingman Chris Waddle to play for the club.

A funeral service for Rick Knowles, who died following a chest and kidney infection, will be held at St John’s Church, Worksop, on Thursday, 29th December, at 10am.

A gathering will be held following the service at The Millhouse pub, Worksop.