Chasetown’s fans, players and officials were mourning the passing of their president Brian Baker on Saturday before returning to action in the EVO-STIK Northern Premier League.
The Scholars held a minute’s silence before kicking off in EVO-STIK NPL First Division South against Romulus for one of their founding members who passed away on Thursday aged 79.
The stalwart’s death comes just a month after the passing away of long-serving Chasetown physio Mick Andrews.
Affectionately known as “Blondie” during his playing days for Chase Terrace Old Scholars, saddened officials paid tribute to the lifelong supporter who’d overseen their progress over the previous 63 years since their first match in the Cannock Youth League to their famous run to meet Cardiff City in the third round of the FA Cup in 2008 and a later honour of helping the Football League giants open their new Cardiff City Stadium.
In a statement sending their condolences to the family and friends of their late president, the club said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our founder member and club president Brian Baker. Brian was instrumental in the forming of Chase Terrace Old Scholars back in 1954 and his association with the club has been constant ever since. Our thoughts at this time are with his daughter, Lynn, son-in-Law, Nigel, grandchildren, Sam and Chris and also his sister Margaret.”
Chasetown chairman Mike Joiner paid a personal tribute to his lifelong friend, adding: “Brian will be sadly missed by all associated with the club. For the past 63 years Brian has worked tirelessly for the club and for the past 33 years would be seen at the Scholars Ground day in day out working on the maintenance of the grounds and surrounding areas.”
Before preparing his side to host the Roms on Saturday, Scholars manager Dave Stringer said: “Its’ been a very difficult start to 2017. Following the death of Mick, Brian is another huge loss. He was president of the club, part owner and was Chasetown through and through. He was a lovely man who did everything he could for the club and will be sorely missed.”