Tributes have poured in for Scarborough Athletic’s first boss Brian France, who sadly passed away on Monday.
Brian, who took the reins as Boro’s first manager when the club was formed in 2007, had been fighting illness since September 2010.
One of Brian’s best captures was Ryan Blott, who has been with the club since the start.
Blott said: “After the demise of the old club I had just about stopped playing the game. I got a call from Brian and he quickly talked me around.
“The best thing about Brian was the fact that he was your mate as well as a manager.
“When you went out on that pitch you wanted to do well for Brian, just because of who he was.
“Brian was just one of those people that nobody had a bad word about and there aren’t many of them about.”
One of Brian’s last signings was Denny Ingram, who is now assistant-manager of Boro.
He said: “When I first spoke to Brian he came across as a true gent. He was honest, there aren’t many people left in football like him.
“Brian and Darren France set everything up to make the club what it is now.
“They made sure the foundations were right and that is why we are pushing on as a club now.
“He was the person that convinced players like Ryan Blott and myself to return to playing for Scarborough.
“As a club we are very close knit, and every one sends our best wishes to Darren and Brian’s family at this tough time.”
Current Boro boss Rudy Funk didn’t work with Brian, but he met on a number of occasions in battle.
He said: “It is a very sad time for Darren, his family, friends and everyone at the club.
“I feel like I have lost one of my best friends.
“When Brian took over as manager of Boro I said to my assistant at Rainworth that we are in for a ride.
“We had some great battles against Brian’s teams, but as soon as the game was finished you were able to talk to him for hours about his favourite topic of football.
“I cherish the moments that I spent with him, his wisdom of football and also the knowledge he had.
“He will be sadly missed, not only by his family and friends, but also by football.”
Club secretary John Clarke described Brian as Mr Scarborough Athletic for his sterling efforts in the early part of the club’s history.
“I had a great time working with him, Brian was Mr Scarborough Athletic,” he added.
“He created everything from an empty bag, we wouldn’t be in our current position if it wasn’t for him.
“He was the Alex Ferguson of non-league football and a gentleman to boot. Brian will be missed by everyone that knew him.”
Brian’s son Darren passed thanks on from the family for the messages of support.
He said: “We would just like to thank all the fans and the people that have sent their support. We would also like to thank everyone for what they did for my dad over the years.”
More tributes to Brian France: p112 &117