Professional footballer Leon Legge led the tributes to Little Common chairman Ken Cherry, who died last Thursday aged 81.
Cambridge United defender Legge played his youth football with Common before progressing to the Football League with Brentford and Gillingham via several non-league clubs.
Legge wrote on social media site Twitter: “So sad to hear the passing of a true gent that is Ken Cherry, played a massive part in my development as a youngster. #LittleCommonFc”
A number of other prominent local football figures were also quick to praise Ken and express their sadness at his passing on Twitter.
Former Hastings Town/United player and manager Terry White wrote: “very sad the true ‘one club man’ and a true gentleman”
Peter Heritage, formerly of Sidley United and Bexhill United, wrote: “Devastating news and words cannot describe how much this man means to me X”
Jamie Crone, Common’s 20-goal leading scorer this season, wrote: “So distraught to hear Ken Cherry pass away. He was a huge part of my football development and helped me massively. I appreciate everything”
Goalkeeper coach Steve Smithers wrote: “My heart goes out to all Ken’s family, friends and everyone at Little Common. Ken was a true gentleman, a legend and will be missed greatly”
Former Westfield player/joint manager Tony Harris wrote: “Deepest sympathies to all at Little Common and Ken’s family. RIP”
Ex-Bexhill United and Sidley United player Ben White wrote: “Sussex football has lost a giant, a top man who loved the game & did so much for so many of us that grew up playing locally.”
Eastbourne United AFC manager Tobi Hutchinson wrote: “Devastating news for LCFC and Sussex football as a whole. Never been a more genuine caring football man than Ken. So much time for this man, he will be sorely missed. God bless.”
Little Common player Stuart Collier wrote: “So much respect for Ken. It was a pleasure knowing you. Condolences to his family and friends. We will do you proud.”
Other Sussex football clubs such as Crawley Down Gatwick, Eastbourne Town, Lancing and Peacehaven & Telscombe - whose own chairman Brian Suckling passed away last week - offered their condolences.
The tributes, in fact, extended beyond the football community because the town’s leading cricket clubs also expressed their sympathy.
Bexhill CC wrote: “Our condolences to the family of Ken Cherry & all those @littlecommonfc. Gave so much to local sport. #bexhill”
Little Common Ramblers CC wrote: “So sorry to hear. Our thoughts are with family and all involved with the club. RIP Ken”
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