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Vics pay matchday tribute to former Chairman

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Northwich Victoria's fans, players and officials will pay tribute to late stalwart Dave Stone on Saturday before kicking off against Brighouse Town in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

As well as holding a minute's silence for their former director and chairman who passed away aged 82 on Tuesday, the First Division North leaders are also running a special tribute in their matchday programme to mark his 30 years of loyal service and devotion.

Remembered by his friends at the club this week as a "real family man", Mr Stone had been in remission from cancer before being taken ill following further treatment and passing away at home. He is survived by his wife Joan, a daughter, five sons and more than 30 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Vics officials announced details of their late chairman's funeral on Friday with supporters and all those who knew him invited to attend. The service takes place at 11am on Tuesday 1 December at St John's C of E Church in Sandiway, Northwich.

Born in Sheffield and also a lifelong Sheffield Wednesday fan and cricketer as well as a rally driver in his younger days, Mr Stone first arrived in Cheshire to work in the construction industry before setting up his own successful company.

Saddened officials estimate that over the years his contacts helped the Vics make major savings on maintenance but say his biggest legacy should have been a new home at the Victoria Stadium, left unfinished after their past financial struggles.

Their late chairman's association with the club began when he was invited to become reserve team manager in June 1985. He joined the board three months later after many of his other talents were recognised and as well as leading the Vics in two spells as chairman, he remained a director until 2004.

Mr Stone continued to follow the Vics home and away until his health started to deteriorate, only making occasional visits last season when they were playing at Flixton. He attended his last home game against Osset Albion at Wincham Park on 5 September but had been thrilled by the progress of the Vics in the FA Cup and their latest giant-killing.

On Monday night he had been following the news from their FA Cup replay win at Boreham Wood and was said to have been in great form afterwards by Vics directors and officials, including good friend Jim Rafferty who spoke to him on the phone as they travelled home from Hertfordshire.

Source: www.evostikleague.co.uk

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