COLWYN Bay FC paid tribute one final time to their much-loved kitman whose funeral was held last week.

Brian Kelly, who had a long association with the Seagulls, died recently aged 72 at Colwyn Community Hospital following a long illness.

His death sparked widespread mourning from the North Wales footballing community and a crowdfunding page set-up to cover funeral costs met its £3,000 target in a matter of days.

The popular figure’s funeral was held on Thursday, November 26, but unfortunately, due to current restrictions, both services were private, and attendance was strictly by invitation only.

That did not stop those associated with the eagulls from turning out in their droves to pay their final respects to Mr Kelly when his coffin drove past the Four Crosses Arena for the final time to rapturous applause.

Mr Kelly worked at W.H Smith in Colwyn Bay for many years prior to retirement, first started following the Bay during 1982/83 season and took on the role of kitman during the early 2000s.

This was a role he assumed more permanently following retirement in 2006 when Peter Davenport held the position of manager. Although there have been substantial changes to staff and player personnel during this time, Mr Kelly remained fiercely loyal to the club, working under no fewer than 15 managers.

Manager Craig Hogg, said: “Bryan was truly part of the fabric of our football club and his loss is hard for all of us at the Bay. He stood for everything that was good about our club through his hard work, his dedication to his job and the genuine love he had for what he was part of here.

"He will be so badly missed, but he will never be forgotten and that says so much about the man. I'll never forget the many good times, the laughs and the great conversations we shared together, sat in the dressing room at Llanelian Road. Those memories are something that will stay forever.”