Heatfelt tributes have been paid to a “Spalding United legend” after Jack Goddard’s passing last Thursday night.
Jack, who was 94 and died after a short illness, was a lifelong fan of the Tulips and his unwavering support over the years led to him becoming synonymous with the club.
A positive and vocal supporter who loved to chat about the beautiful game, Jack also held the role of Vice President at the Evo-Stik NPL First Division South club.
Always welcoming in the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field stand and Tulips Social Club both pre and post match, having a chat with Jack was simply part of the matchday experience at Spalding, both home and away.
For many, his passing ensures that watching the Tulips will simply never be the same again.
Jack, who was widowed, is survived by his daughter Carol and son Chris. His funeral will take place at St John’s Church on Hawthorne Bank in Spalding on Monday, October 23.
A Spalding United statement read: “It was with great sadness that the club learned of the passing of lifelong Tulips’ fan and Vice-President, Mr Jack Goddard.
“A veritable fixture at Tulips matches, both home and away, for more years than anyone seems able to remember.
“It will take some adjustment getting used to not seeing 94 years-young Jack again within the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field and Tulips’ Social Club whenever a matchday rolls around.
“Jack loved his football and adored his Tulips and was in attendance for our home season opener versus Corby Town as recently as August 15. His passing came after a short illness.
“His knowledge of past seasons, staff, players, grounds and opponents was immense and his mind razor-sharp to the end in spite of his advancing years.
“Thoughts, prayers and sympathies from everyone in Tulipsville go out to Jack’s daughter Carol, son Chris and all Jack’s family and many friends at this poignant time.”
Tributes from Tulips players and staff, both past and present, have also been plentiful on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.
Here is a selection…
Current Spalding player Michael Duggan: “RIP Jack Goddard. Absolute legend. Always there week in week out to support the club, won’t be the same without him. Tulips legend.”
Former Spalding player and manager Mark Hone: “So sad to hear this news. Proper club man and so grateful to have met and got to know him during playing and managing the club….RIP Jack.”
Former Spalding player Paul Goodhand: “Really sad news. It was a pleasure to spend three seasons in Jack’s company and we always enjoyed a catch up whenever our teams met over the years.”
Former Spalding player Andrew Wright: “Devastating news, honour to the club. Rest in peace Jack.”
Former Spalding midfielder Nathan Whitehead: “Very sad news that. Rest in peace Jack, a wonderful man.”
Current Spalding manager Chris Rawlinson: “Rest in piece Jack, a true footballing gent who was always giving me thoughts and advice on the team, it was a pleasure to have known you.”
Former Spalding pyhsio Sam Seal: “Sad news indeed, loved his football and especially SUFC. Always wanted to chat.”
Former Spalding player Brad Wells: “That winning goal today was for Jack Goddard. Hopefully he was looking down and celebrating with me.”
Former Spalding player and manager Dave Frecklington: “What a man. Thanks for all your support mate.”
Current Spalding player Paul Walker: “So sad to hear the passing of Jack. Loved sitting and talking to him after the game, going to really miss him.”
Former Spalding player Tom Roberts: “Sad to hear of the passing of Mr Spalding United a great guy and an ever present through thick and thin. RIP Jack, Mr Tulip.”
Current Spalding player Jordan Lemon: “Sad news for the club. Always had a smile on his face whether we won, lost, drew, home or away. You’ll be missed Jack.”
Former Spalding player and assistant boss Danny Hussey: “RIP Jack. True gentlemen and an all-round nice guy. Tulips legend. Mr Spalding.”
Former Spalding player and boss Marcus Ebdon: “Really sad news to hear Jack, Mr Spalding has passed away. A truly lovely man he will be sorely missed. RIP top man.”
Former Spalding manager Pat Rayment: “The Sir Halley Stewart will be a lonelier place in your absence. RIP Jack.”