FORMER Accrington Stanley striker Jack Brydon has died at the age of 61.

The news has been announced by the club, which released a statement on its website saying the players and staff were ‘saddened’.

Jack, whose father Ian and brother Stanley also played for the Reds, died after losing his battle with heart disease.

Born in Edinburgh on May 19, 1952, Jack moved south the following year when his player dad, Ian, signed for Accrington Stanley.

He loved all sport, and Jack won several trophies playing cricket.

After being snapped up from local club Altham at the age of 23 in June 1975, Jack went on to make 129 appearances for the Reds, scoring 80 goals.

The average age of the Accrington Stanley team during the 1975-76 season was just 21, and young Jack grabbed himself 35 goals that campaign.

Jack also finished top scorer at the club in 1977-78, when he outscored fellow strikers Dave Hargreaves and Alan Davies.

But Jack’s career was cut short after suffering a series of knee injuries.

He underwent an operation in 1970 but never fully recovered.

He retired at the age of 26, and took up golf, something he continued to play at Rishton Golf Club until his death.

At the time, a trophy awarded to the club’s top goal scorer was renamed the Jack Brydon Trophy.

And the club has pledged to repeat the honour following Jack’s death earlier this week.

In a statement, it said: “The thoughts of everyone at Accrington Stanley are with Jack’s family at this difficult time and from this season the club’s top goalscorer will once again receive a trophy in his name.”

After retiring from football, Jack spent some time in the building trade, and a spell at Simon Jersey, before working at Blackburn firm S G Aluminium as an engineering fitter.

As well as travelling with friends to play golf, Jack loved animals and rescued several cats and dogs over the years.

He died on Sunday, December 30.

He was partner of the late Marjorie, and was survived by his daughter Nicola, father-in-law Thomas, and granddaughter Ella.

A funeral service was held at Accrington Crematorium yesterday afternoon.

Donations are still being received, and can be sent to British Heart Foundation, c/o Hyndburn Funeral Services, Queen’s Road, Accrington.

Call 01254 233133 with any enquiries.