STAFFORD Rangers will honour their beloved leader Mick Hughes tonight with a minute’s applause before their opening home match of the season.
On the eve of his funeral they open their home account with a local derby against Norton United.
The players will wear black armbands for the match as they did in their season opener away to Carlton Town on Saturday when they got off to a flyer with a 3-1 victory.
Manager Neil Kitching said the win had settled some jitters for the club, which was rocked by the death of Mr Hughes earlier this month.
“We did really well. There were a few nerves early doors from some of the younger boys and probably in the stands from some of the fans and directors,” he said.
Kitching praised the fans who travelled to the match and said he wanted to build a wall of sound at Marston Road this season to urge the team to the promotion they crave.
“We had fantastic away support, it was superb on Saturday but we want to win home games and make sure when anyone comes here we have a lot of support and make it difficult opposition. Home form is going to be really important if we are going to be in the top half of the table.”
Mr Hughes’ funeral will take place at 2pm at St Mary’s Church and it’s an occasion that’s preoccupying players and staff alike.
“Tomorrow’s a big day for everybody, Mick was so close to everybody,” said Kitching.
“A lot of people have their mind on that but there’s a football match tonight where he’s going to be remembered with a minute’s applause. That will be an emotional moment. He would have wanted us to focus on this evening and start off strongly at home. We will try to do that for him.”