TRIBUTES have been paid at Melksham Town’s Conigre ground for the club’s long serving gateman Derek Ledbury, whose funeral was held on Wednesday.

Mr Ledbury manned the gate at the club for almost 10 years, and was well-known by fans and players alike. He died of cancer at home in Melksham on April 4.

Dave Phillips, the club president, said: “He was the first person people would see at the main gate. He was always there, at home, reserves and under-18s games. He was very dedicated to the club.”

A minute’s silence was held for him at the club’s Monday night Toolstation League Premier Division match with Larkhall Athletic, with a collection taken from the fans.

Mr Phillips said: “It makes you realise it’s not always about the game.

“He did his job, and it was a job a lot of people wouldn’t want to do, but he was dedicated to it. He even once tried to stop a committee member from the Wiltshire FA getting in – one of their perks is they are granted a free pass to all matches, but he wasn’t having any of it.

“I will certainly miss him, as we would often chat about baseball down at the ground.”

His funeral was held at West Wiltshire Cremator-ium, followed by a wake at the ground. Donations in his honour will be split between the club and Dorothy House Hospice, and can be made via DJ Bewley’s Funeral Directors, on 01225 702521.