Memories of Tony Simpson – and a tribute from AFC Sudbury boss Mark Morsley

AFC Sudbury club stalwart Tony Simpson, who died on Thursday Picture: AFC SUDBURY

AFC Sudbury club stalwart Tony Simpson, who died on Thursday Picture: AFC SUDBURY - Credit: Archant

Like all people in local non-league football I was both shocked and saddened on hearing the news of the passing of Tony Simpson.

Tony was a man I knew well. I liked him a great deal.

Under the nom-de-plume ‘YNOT’, Tony contributed notes and match reports to us here at the EADT, Ipswich Star and Green’Un for decades.

He was a man who was straight as they come, loved his non-league and nothing was ever too much trouble.

Often I would e-mail Tony and ask if he minded sending us over 350 words for a match report because I was sending over a photographer.

Always great to chat to face to face, he was a man of few words when it came to e-mails mind you!

‘Y’, is the only answer I would get back... meaning yes!

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He never let me or the papers down either. His copy was always clean and his reports always balanced.

I remember the FA Vase runs AFC Sudbury enjoyed at the start of the new millennium.

They were great fun as the west Suffolk side reached three finals on the bounce, playing sides from as far as Bedlington, in the north-east, to St Blazey in Cornwall.

I attended many of them, sitting at the back of the stand with Tony, David Webb and Pat Arbon, Tony letting me know of anything I may have missed during the game, while I was scribbling away. The three were great company, Tony front and centre.

Tony was a lover of all non-league and I know he often went to other games to get his non-league ‘fix’. But Sudbury were his team.

I spoke to AFC Sudbury boss Mark Morsley.

“Tony ‘YNOT’ Simpson was one of the first AFC people I met when I joined the club 12 years ago,” he said.

“He knew more about me then than I knew about myself and that was the start of a great friendship.

“Every football club have individuals that are synonymous and Tony was a true AFC Sudbury man.

“He developed our website and his record of AFC people past and present is incredible. He was articulate, funny and knew the game; I loved his company.

“When I was offered the chance to return to the club last last October it was Tony that I called first to ask his opinion. ‘We need you back mate!’, was the answer and that was enough, then he added, ‘Pat will love it’, referring to his great friend, Pat Arbon.

“For me going to King’s Marsh now will never be the same – I will miss him terribly.

“He just wanted to see the team play good football and be successful and I know that anything I can achieve will always done with him and Pat toasting that success from wherever they are... If they can decide who will buy the drinks!”

The family of Tony conveyed their thanks for all the support and love received following his sudden death.

Son, Barry said: “The support and love received for our family has been amazing and testament to a great man @ynot916 THANK YOU. Through devastation there is immense pride in our dad, husband, grandfather and everyone’s mate.”

Son, Dean also took to Twitter: “On behalf of our family we write to express our gratitude for the very kind messages following the death of our father Tony Simpson.”

RIP Tony, from all of us in the non-league world.

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