Tributes flood in for 'Mr Ashton Town' Billy Pomfrett
Billy – affectionately known as ‘Mr Ashton Town’ – first joined the club as a 17-year-old centre-half in 1957.
And he gave his beloved Town an incredible 63 years of service, initially as a player and then a tireless volunteer, showing up almost every single day of that time.
Town chairman Mark Hayes admits Billy leaves a void that will never be filled.
“Billy for me was Ashton Town,” said Hayes. “He absolutely adored the club. Such a character, and someone who always made me smile.
“When I came to the club, I took it as my mission to give people like Billy something to smile about. We did that in 2013, when we lifted Town’s first silverware for 42 years.
“That was for Billy...63 years voluntary work. Let that sink in. Absolutely remarkable.
“I told Billy I would fill the stadium to capacity for him, and we did it year on year with the Joseph’s Goal legends games. When others laughed, Billy believed. I will miss you, Billy. We all will.”
Billy’s standing in the game has been shown by the sheer volume of messages received since he passed away, at Ashton View care home on Tuesday morning.
Wigan Athletic tweeted: “Our thoughts go out to Billy and to everyone connected with Ashton Town.”
Neighbours Ashton Athletic tweeted: “Everyone at Ashton Athletic would like to send their sincerest condolences to all at Ashton Town, and to the family of long-serving official Billy Pomfrett, who has sadly passed away. He will be greatly missed.”
Billinge FC: tweeted: “Condolences from all at Billinge FC to Billy’s family and his Ashton Town family. An incredible servant to the club and a real character.
AFC Wigan tweeted: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of Ashton Town club legend Billy Pomfrett. Our condolences go out to his family at this sad time. RIP Billy.
Garswood United tweeted: “The committee, managers, coaches and players would like to send our condolences to everyone at Ashton Town, and for Billy Pomfrett’s family and friends, after an amazing 63 years at the club! Rest In Peace.”
Ex-Town manager David Dempsey tweeted: “Ashton Town have lost a true legend. Bad health took over during the end of my time, but I have never met a more devoted supporter of a football team than Billy Pomfrett. He was an absolute LEGEND of the football club. Condolences to the family. RIP Billy.”
In response to the hundreds of comments received, Ashton Town tweeted: “We would like to thank everyone for their messages of condolences and for sharing their memories of Billy. All the messages will be passed on to the family. Billy epitomised what non- league was about, playing and then volunteering for 63 years. We’ll miss you Billy.”