It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death of our commercial manager Fred Andrews. The club sends its deepest condolences to Fred’s family.

Fred has been a wonderful servant to the club and nobody is better placed to pay tribute to Fred than Mick Docking, who has been working alongside him in our commercial department for many years. This is Mick’s heartfelt tribute.

“I am very sorry to announce that Fred Andrews, our Commercial Manager of the last ten or so years died early on Saturday morning. He had suffered a major stroke at home and was hospitalised on Friday night. Sadly he did not regain consciousness. Fred had recently celebrated his 93rd birthday.

Fred’s formal involvement with the club started around 2005 and was, as so often is the case a question of “wrong time wrong place” (or should it be “right time right place”)? Either which way, an innocent question regarding the commercial activity (or lack of it) at the Club during AOB at a forum convened to discuss the Supporters Trust, resulted in him volunteering to set something up. This duly happened and ever since then Fred has been at the centre of our commercial activity. Over the last few years his deteriorating physical health required that he took more of a back seat, but he continued throughout to work alongside me and maintain direct contact with many of the long-term sponsors that he had managed to recruit over the years. Only last week we were talking about next season (should that ever arrive) and what his input might be.

As a commercial manager Fred was far from typical. For a start, no other club that I know of has a nonagenarian operating that role. True he couldn’t get on with computers (attempts to mechanise Fred invariably failed) and the internet and all its marketing opportunities was lost on him. What he did offer was genuine warmth, kindness and traditional values and it is those qualities that ensured he was so well liked by everyone he met. He would always make me feel underdressed when we went visiting – he would be booted, suited and carrying that clip-board with 4 sheets of A4 and a price list secured within. Me in a pair of jeans a phone and a pen, if I remembered. Not sure what impression we made, but there you go?

Fred’s relationship with the Club was reciprocal. His involvement with the commercial side filled a vacuum in his life after his wife Joan had passed away and in return the Club was provided with the most loyal of servants who worked tirelessly to raise much needed cash, whilst always being a perfect ambassador for Hitchin Town FC.

I shall miss those conversations about Wink Saunders and old Charlton village, not to mention your voicemail messages and wondering why you really did need all that milk delivered every day? There are many amusing moments to recall, but that’s for another time.

Thanks for your company Fred.