Touching tributes have been left expressing shock and sadness at the death of ‘Mr Horsham Frank King.
The Horsham Football Club president passed away following a short illness on Tuesday night.
The well-know and much-loved club stalwart had many roles during an almost lifelong association with the Hornets from programme seller to chairman, director and latterly president.
As well as his passion for football, Frank also loved Sussex County Cricket Club and his hometown in general, as such, he was a popular and friendly face to many.
The football club have credited him as ‘almost single-handedly’ rescuing them from extinction in the 1970s/80s.
Hornets chairman Kevin Borrett led the tributes by saying: “Frank was more than just one of the longest serving officials of the football club.
“He was in many ways the epitome of the club itself. His warm, enthusiastic and infectious personality marked Horsham Football Club as ‘the friendly club’.
“Frank’s passing is desperately sad news and our condolences go out to his wife Pauline, Julie and the rest of the family. Farewell, Mr President.”
Club secretary Jeff Barrett, who had known Frank for 45 years, added: “He had that rare quality of being liked and loved by all whose paths he crossed.”
Many have pointed out the sad fact that Frank would not have seen the Hornets play in their new home next season at Hop Oast, but have taken great comfort he knew it was on the way. But also, in his last game, he saw them win the play-off final and gain promotion.
Committee member Mark Barrett said: “A sad day for everyone at @HorshamFC. The reason the club is as wonderfully warm, friendly and welcoming as it is, is because of Frank King. President, Chairman, Leader, Saviour, Gentleman, Legend RIP Frank.”
Mandy Chennell said: “Terrible news. A lovely man who would always say hello when I saw him at games. So sad that he won’t get to enjoy the new stadium. RIP.”
Former Horsham captain Eddie French said: “A Horsham great! I know he would have been so proud of the clubs recent achievements and the prospect of finally coming home. Thoughts with all your family and friends Frank. An absolutely wonderful gentle man. Rest in peace!”
Melanie Wakefield said: “A true Horsham Gentleman. He will be hugely missed by the club, his church and so many Horsham people. Never forgotten!!! So sad… my thoughts with all his lovely family. Xx”
Mark Chaplin said: “RIP to Mr Horsham FC. Thoughts are with your family at this sad time. True legend of the club Frank.”
Billy Greening sad: “This is so very sad. Frank was always a great source of inspiration to me whenever we spoke, as a very kind, gentle and honest man. He was a fantastic person, no-one had a bad word to say about him, he will be truly missed across Horsham as a whole and our football community. Rest in Peace Frank, I’m so sorry you won’t be able to see your new ground open.”
John Kirby: said: “This is horrible news, I genuinely had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes reading this. I was so happy to see Frank’s beaming smile after the play off win. The world is alot worse off now without him, a stand tribute has to be at the new ground surely. Sleep well Frank. Always yellow, always green.”
Former Sussex player Chris Nash, who grew up in Horsham, was one of many cricketers to pay tribute. He added: “I just saw the sad news that Frank King has passed away, a @HorshamFC @SussexCCC @horshamcc legend and one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet.
“Such sad news. His legacy will be the amazing football stadium in Horsham and how he always made you smile.”