Sudbury: Tributes to ‘unique’ club supporter
PUBLISHED: 09:44 13 December 2012
AN avid football fan who volunteered tirelessly at a community-based club has lost his battle with motor neurone disease (MND).
Chris Olley, 52, from Long Melford, who relinquished his voluntary role at AFC Sudbury in May because of the progression of the neurodegenerative illness, died on Monday night.
He had been a staunch club supporter since 1999 and had been selling advertising and sponsorship as a volunteer since 2007, when he was first diagnosed with MND.
Club representative Mark Pearman described Mr Olley as a humble, selfless man who showed great strength, courage and dignity during his battle with the illness.
He said: “We should all be personally indebted to Chris for his support and help selling advertising and sponsorship through a very difficult economic climate, and at a time when our club was going through massive changes in its structure and our fortunes on the pitch were less than favourable.”
He said Mr Olley was a “unique character” at AFC Sudbury who was universally liked and who would be “sorely missed”.
Former AFC Sudbury manager Mark Morsley said: “I remember after we had lost in the promotion play-offs to Canvey Island in my second year and I was close to tears. He came along in his wheelchair and said ‘You have done wonders for this football club and we will get there in the end’.
“Despite his own problems he still had the humility to come over and console the manager. He was a great man and it is such a sad loss.”