We are deeply saddened to hear that Brian Lomax OBE has passed away this morning.
Brian was the inspiration behind the Supporters’ Trust movement through his work at Northampton Town in the early 1990’s, becoming the first supporter elected director of a football club after the supporters and community rallied round to save the club in 1992.
This pioneering approach led to the Football Task Force report in 1999 recommending the widespread establishment of Supporters’ Trusts to replicate this work. Brian was instrumental in the formation of Supporters Direct for this purpose and was appointed our first Managing Director. He would later become Chair of the organisation.
In both positions and throughout SD’s existence, Brian’s skills, experience and warmth have been at the heart of our movement, and in him, we had our truly inspirational founding father.
His role in changing the way football is run was recognised with an OBE for services to the game in the same year as he stepped down as Chair, 2009.
Despite all these accolades anyone who knew Brian will remember him above all as being a kind, humble and caring man. His life touched and inspired many people, and his legacy will live on.
David Conn Tribute
Brian Lomax, who has died aged 67, was the visionary pioneer for the idea that football clubs rightfully belong to their supporters and he became the founding father of the modern movement to form supporters’ trusts at almost every club in Britain. Lomax inspired a generation of activism with his remarkably open and generous manner, and with practical expertise, having himself formed an original supporters’ trust at then troubled Northampton Town in 1992.
Cambridge-educated and a lifelong political activist – for the Liberal Democrats – Lomax stretched a standard post-match grumble in the pub about Northampton’s much resented then owner into action: forming a mutual, democratic trust to seek a stake and involvement in the club’s running.
He drew on charitable structures he had worked with in his career, first as a probation and prison welfare officer, then as chief executive of the Mayday Trust, a social enterprise in Rugby which helped former prisoners and other disadvantaged people lead independent lives. Based on one member one vote, the Northampton Town trust collectively bought 8% of the shares and secured an agreement with the new board to elect democratically a director – Lomax was duly voted in himself, serving for seven years.