A football fanatic who worked tirelessly for Coggeshall Town Football Club for 50 years has died, aged 90.

John Alston helped the club win promotion and two cups as a player, supported them and worked with them.

Mr Alston held roles including club secretary, club captain and even honorary groundsman when he used to mark out the pitch in preparation for matchdays.

He helped shepherd the club through some of its most successful years, and was awarded a long and valued service to Essex football gong by the Essex Football Association in 1969.

A spokesman for Coggeshall Town Football Club said: “John worked tirelessly for Coggeshall Town for five decades, making him a true club legend.

“He made a huge contribution to the history of Coggeshall Town, and will be missed by all.”

During the Forties and Fifties, defender Mr Alston played for and then captained Coggeshall’s first team.

In 1952 the club achieved promotion to the premier division of the Colchester and East Essex League - at the time one of the strongest junior leagues in the country.

During his playing career, the club reached seven cup finals - winning two.

After hanging up his boots, Mr Alston became the club’s honorary secretary.

He oversaw the club’s move from Highfields to current home Crops, in West Street.

He was always known for going above and beyond for the club he loved.

The spokesman continued: “As well as his secretary duties, John used to mark out the pitch on match days, a job he took seriously, as he would not let anyone else do it as he felt they did not do it well enough.

“He also used to make the tea at half-time, ensuring it was always ready when the players came in.”

One of his proudest achievements was being involved in the Worthington Evans Cup win in 1971 - when Coggeshall beat Sudbury Town at Colchester United’s then ground Layer Road.

He retired from club duties in the Eighties after seeing Coggeshall through the club’s 100th birthday in 1978.

Mr Alston lived in Coggeshall all his life, where he raised children Paul, Carol, Judith and Ruth with wife Pat.

Son Paul Alston said: “I was up at Coggeshall from a young age so it is in my blood. He was so dedicated and committed to the club.”