Tributes for ‘Mr Spalding United’ after passing away
Matches at Spalding United Football Club will never be quite the same again after the passing away of lifelong fan Jack Goddard at the age of 94.
Mr Goddard, of Spalding, who attended “The Tulips” home and away games for decades, died on Thursday evening after a short illness.
Unmistakable in the main stand at Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field, Mr Goddard was the club’s vice president at a time when Spalding United enjoyed unparalled success by reaching the Evo Stik Division One South Play-Off Final last season.
Mr Goddard, who was widowed, leaves a daughter and son.
Club chairman Andy Gay said: “What a loss Jack is as he was Mr Spalding United, travelling to away games until recently, despite his age.
“Jack would always have the ladies waiting on him, whether it was a player’s girlfriend or an opponent’s helper, because everyone loved him.
“When I joined the club, Jack was always there to tend the pitch, sweep up the leaves and, on match days, supporting the boys.
“Jack always insisted that the club should enter the cup competitions and my fondest memory was of one presentation evening when a player’s sister was sat on his knee which he loved.
“You couldn’t find a finer gentleman to be at a club and I can still hear Jack shouting “I want more” from the stand.”
Club press officer and former Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian sports editor Ray Tucker said: “I’ve known Jack Goddard for a few years, more so now with my retirement from journalism.
“I ferried him down to the ground and back on match days, becoming his personal chauffeur, and we always looked after him in travelling to away matches.
“Jack looked forward to travelling and he called Spalding United ‘my boys’.
“He was always one of the first people to sponsor a number of players at the beginning of the season and they all treated him like a father and grandfather.
“Jack would always chat with the players in the clubroom after matches and he was much-loved by the football club, along with people around the league as well who would ask ‘have you brought the old guy with you?’”