FOOTBALL fans are being urged to turn out in force for Stafford Rangers first home game of the season to honour director Mike Hughes who passed away last week as the club vowed they wouldn’t let him down.
The match will take place at Marston Road against Norton Utd on Tuesday, the eve of Mr Hughes’ funeral, and club officials are hoping fans will answer their rallying call.
Meanwhile his son Jason has spoken of the family’s shock at the Rangers stalwart’s death from a heart-related problem while on holiday.
“He hadn’t been ill, that’s why it’s such a shock,” said Mr (Jason) Hughes.
“We saw him on Sunday (3), we had a family day together,” he said.
Mr Hughes, 68, went on holiday to Devon the following day with his wife Carol and friends. On Tuesday he played 18 holes of golf with a friend before lunch then went for a walk on Dartmoor in the afternoon.
Born in Bilston, one of 11 children, he qualified as an accountant, working for various companies before becoming financial director with a company in north Staffordshire.
He managed a youth team at Stafford Town FC, for which his son played, and got involved with Stafford Rangers in the early 1980s, becoming a director soon after.
“He said it got under his skin – he was hooked by it. He was dedicated, passionate, committed, hard-working and very thorough but he was also a character. He was really funny but he could be really serious as well and he was incredibly generous.
“He was absolutely passionate about the Rangers and he did retire but he couldn’t let it go - he was absolutely passionate about his family too.”
Mr (Jason) Hughes said the best tribute to his father would be success on the pitch for Rangers.
“He would want everybody to pull together to keep the club alive – that will keep him alive in people’s memories.”
Mr Hughes leaves a wife, Carol, daughter Clare, 44, son Jason, 42, and five grandchildren. His funeral will take place at St Mary’s Church at 2pm on Wednesday (20).
Club secretary David Montgomery said: “We want to dedicate this season to Mike – we won’t let him down,” said David Montgomery, club director.”