VIDEO: March Town United say goodbye to loyal fan Tony Nobbs with minute’s applause
MARCH Town United played a big part in Tony Nobbs’ life. He watched hundreds of games, carried out countless ground repairs and even met his wife there.
So it was fitting that on Saturday the football club held a minute’s applause to say goodbye to one of their most loyal followers.
Tony died this month after a long battle with a rare form of leukaemia.
The 74-year-old was planning to toast his golden wedding anniversary with wife Maureen by sponsoring the weekend’s game.
And although the couple still sponsored the fixture, it was Tony’s life that was cause for celebration at the GER.
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Mandy Welcher, Tony’s daughter, said: “It was something he wanted to do to mark their anniversary but it turned into final closure for us.
“He spent so many happy times there and he saw so many games. I only found out the other day that he met my mum at the club.
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“He was home on leave from the navy and he went to watch a football match at March, where my mum was playing for the ladies team. After the game he stopped behind to wait for her and he asked her to go to the cinema.
“That football club played a big part in his life.”
Tony, who has another daughter, Tracy, first fell ill two years ago. His strain of leukaemia was so rare that doctors are currently writing a paper on it.
Mandy said: “When he left hospital the last time, they said he had a couple of weeks to live and basically sent him home to die.
“But he was here for more than five months - the nurses called him the miracle man.”
Tony spent a lot of his time watching his three grandsons, Marc, Scott and Lewis Welcher, play sport for March.
Marc was captain for Saturday’s game - a 2-0 victory over Team Bury - and Lewis paid his own tribute to Tony last weekend.
The 14-year-old scored in March Rangers Under-15s’ 4-1 victory over Chatteris - and dedicated the goal to his grandad.
The young midfielder said: “It’s quite rare for me to score and in my head I knew it was for him.”
His coach, Andy Wenn, said: “At half time he said the goal was for his grandad and all the team started clapping. It was a special moment.”