A FOOTBALL club has paid tribute after the death of a former chairman.

Gary White served as chairman of Heybridge Swifts FC for almost seven years, before his departure was announced in January last year.

He played a leading role in the revamping of Heybridge Swifts’ home ground Scraley Road.

A spokesman from Heybridge Swifts FC said: “Our condolences go to the family and we respect the privacy of the family at this time. 

“At our last home game, we held a minute’s silence as a mark of respect.”

In December 2022, Mr White welcomed MP Dame Priti Patel to the Aspen Waite stadium, where he and club committee member Tim Bruce gave the politician a full tour.

The visit came at a time when the club was celebrating two years of upgrades.

Speaking to the Maldon and Burnham Standard at the time, Mr White said: “We greatly appreciate Priti’s support, and it was a real pleasure to show her our stadium and all that we have achieved here.

"We are a community-based football club that operates on a not-for-profit basis and we are very proud of what we have created over the years and of the positive effect the club has on the physical and mental well-being of so many local people, of all ages.”