TRIBUTES have been paid to junior football stalwart Derek Brice, who has died, aged 64.
Derek had been with Rawmarsh St Joseph's Junior Football Club since 2007, first getting involved through his grandson, Josh.
He became a big figure at the club, serving as team manager, referee and chairman before becoming ill a couple of years ago.
In a statement posted on social media, St Joseph's described Derek as a "true gentleman with a hugh heart".
Club manager Tony Pemberton added: "Derek was a great club servant. He had time for everybody and he'd do anything for anybody.
"Derek did everything, from marking the pitches to running the cafe on an afternoon to league meetings.
"When he was chairman he saw the lads only once a fortnight at home games but he knew all their names.
"Derek first got involved through his grandson and loved watching the Millers on a Saturday and Josh on a Sunday.
"Derek will he terribly missed by us all and we send our love to his family."
A minute's applause were held before matches yesterday while FC Rigdyke U18s also paid tribute with an impeccably observed silence.
The club posted on Facebook: "What a great man. Derek helped set us up for our first ever season and couldn’t do enough for anyone in the local football family."
The Sheffield Junior League described Derek as a "credit to football" while Cameron Rigg remembered a "truly charistmatic and loveable gent".
Another post, from Lee Hopkinson, added: "Some people's heroes are footballers, movie stars and people they have never really met. Mine was a bloke who always had time for me, my wife, my children and anybody really in general. Derek Brice was a top top bloke and will be sadly missed by many."