A MAN who served Alvechurch Football Club for more than 50 years has died.

Roy Yardley, known as 'Mr Alvechurch', died aged 79 on May 9 after a brief period of ill health.

A regular in the club's boardroom at Lye Meadow, he was associated with the club in a variety of roles from chairman to groundsman over the years and even wrote a book on the club’s history.

The highlights of his time with the club included two famous FA Cup runs to the first and third rounds in the 1970s, including them taking part in the longest ever tie in the competition.

In 2009 he was presented with an FA gold medal and replica badge by the Midland Alliance to mark 50 years in football.

Alvechurch chairman Peter Eacock said everyone at the club was shocked at his death and it would not be the same without him.

He said: "Roy had only really been ill since Christmas as far as we knew and had started missing a few games, although for some of them he would even watch from his car.

"He lived and breathed football and Alvechurch FC and did everything at one time or another, from getting his hands dirty cleaning the toilets to conducting committee meetings.

"His passing will create a void here that will be hard to fill. We’re are lucky to have had someone like Roy around for so long, he was a great servant to the club and the game."

Roy's son Mark, who used to be a ball boy at Lye Meadow, said he had loved the club and one of the proudest moments before he died was seeing his grandson Jamie play for the first team.

He said: "I grew up with Alvechurch FC because dad was so involved and loved the club, it was his life really.

"He watched some of the games from the car in the last few months because he couldn’t make it onto the ground, but he was determined to still attend the games as much as he could."

Mr Yardley's funeral will take place on Tuesday at Redditch Crematorium and a service will be held at The Ark, St Lawrence Church, Alvechurch.