CFU is living proof of the fact that any football club is its supporters and the mark of a club is the quality of its fans. A lot has been said about the loyalty of our fans and, rightly so, about our proud history as a family club. Tom, who died on June 1st at the tragically young age of 55, was one of the very best. Loyalty was at the heart of everything he did. He worked for 40 years at Sainsbury’s on Coldham’s Lane and devoted much of his spare time to Cambridge United.
Anyone in the habit of sitting in the Supporters’ Club after home games, or who was a regular at away games, would have known Tom. Often he would have been with his best friend Terry O’Dell who regularly travelled with him on the ‘away’ coaches for over twenty years.
In a moving Eulogy at the Catholic Church on June 16th, Terry referred to his friend as the brother he’d never had and as a man who lived for Cambridge United. He was a big man with a big heart whose compassionate nature was remarkable.
He loved meeting fans of other clubs and his respect for them should be a model for all real football fans who appreciate that, despite our fierce rivalries, football fans are essentially a family.
Dave Doggett’s attendance at the funeral was testimony to the high regard the Club has for dedicated fans like Tom. Tom himself would have been amazed at the number of fans who attended his funeral. We have lost one of our best. I hope the Club will choose to mark his passing – perhaps with a minute’s applause at our first home game. It has been earned.