A POPULAR club official with had an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge’ of non-league football has died, aged 72.

Colin Wilson spent 40 years at Clitheroe Football Club, mainly acting as club secretary.

A minute’s silence was held at the club’s Shawbridge ground ahead of Saturday’s match against Ossett Albion.

And such was the level of respect for Mr Wilson throughout football, that representatives from a number of other non-league clubs were also present to pay their respects.

Mr Wilson, a widower and father-of-three, died on Friday after being admitted to hospital on Tuesday with a chest infection.

The retired painter and decorator had stood down from his role as secretary at the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League club in October due to ill health.

Last year Mr Wilson was recognised by the FA who gave him a medal to mark his 40 years in the game.

Clitheroe chairwoman Anne Barker said: “A fam- iliar face around the North West non-league scene, Colin had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the game.

“Colin was enormously proud of the club’s successes. He was a tangible link to the club’s Lancashire Combination days through the 1970s, through the 80s when Eric Whalley’s side carried all before it, through to the FA Vase Final at Wembley in 1996 and ultimately promotion to the First Division in 2004.

“Colin was a self-effacing man with a strong sense of fair play, who simply could not understand the win at all costs mentality.

“He will be missed by all his friends and acquaintances at Shawbridge and the league.”