Tributes flood in for Deeping secretary

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Deeping Rangers have been rocked by the death of club secretary Haydon Whitham, following a heart attack on Friday.

It is a devastating blow, coming less than two weeks after the death of popular club president Norman Fowler.

Haydon suffered a heart attack while walking with friends in Derbyshire.

He became fixture secretary in 1994 and then club secretary two years later.

He was a key figure in the club’s progression from the Peterborough and District League to the United Counties League where they won the Premier Division in 2006-07.

Tributes came flooding in for the popular club secretary.

Club chairman Kevin Davenport said: “We are totally, totally devastated at this loss.

“Not only have we lost a very good friend but we have also lost a rock of our club.

“Haydon was so influential in the running of Deeping Rangers that it will be a big task to find a person or people to take on the work he did.

“We were still getting over the loss of Norman so to have this loss has really created a huge void in the club.”

First-team manager Tuncay Korkmaz paid his own tribute in a text message he sent to his squad.

The message read: “Hi guys, I have been in football for a long time and met some nice people on the way but not many, if any, better than our club secretary, and a good friend of mine, Haydon.

“I am saddened by news just received – unfortunately Haydon had a heart attack earlier this afternoon and passed away.

“For those who knew Haydon, you will know that he will be sorely missed – for those who did not know Haydon well, you missed a great opportunity.

“I will certainly remember Haydon with some great memories, rest in peace Haydon.”

Meanwhile, the funeral of Norman Fowler will take place on Thursday at Priory Church, Deeping St James (3pm) followed by cremation at Peterborough Crematorium, Marholm (4pm).

A reception will be held after the church service at Deepings Sports and Social Club, Outgang Road, Market Deeping PE6 8LQ where friends are invited to remember Norman.

There is a request for family flowers only but a collection will be held at the club for Parkinson’s (Bourne Branch), Sue Ryder and Marie Curie – as chosen by Norman and family.