FOOTBALL clubs from around the country were among those who paid tribute to Redditch United vice-chairman Sallie Swan, who sadly passed away last week following a long battle with cancer.
Sallie, the wife of Reds chairman Chris, was an extremely popular figure at the Valley Stadium and showed immense bravery as she continued to play a key role at the club in her final months despite her ill health.
Stourbridge, Frome Town and Merthyr Town were among those to pay their respects to Sallie on Twitter and budding young Reds footballers also took their chance to pay their respects as a minute’s silence was held at all Redditch United junior matches at the weekend.
The Reds’ first team players and management took part in a minute’s applause on the Valley Stadium pitch before both Monday’s and Wednesday victories against Kettering Town and Chippenham Town respectively.
Redditch MP Karen Lumley has been left deeply saddened by Sallie’s passing.
“Sallie was one of my best friends and I was with her a couple of weeks ago at her home in Stratford,” said Mrs Lumley.
“Both Chris and Sallie have been great friends to my husband Richard and myself and I commend the huge contribution Sallie has made to Redditch United.
“She will be a great loss to our community. Chris and Sallie turned around Redditch United to be the team they are today.
“Richard and I spent an hour with her and she was still laughing and joking with us and talking about us going away for a couple of days together.
“She was one of the bravest women I have ever come across and I want to pay tribute to her.
“Sallie is a great loss to everyone and our thoughts and prayers are with Chris and the family at this very sad time.”
A Redditch United statement read: “Sallie Swan passed peacefully in the presence of friends and family on April 15 following a long battle with cancer.
“Throughout it all she retained her wicked sense of humour and love of everything dear to her including Redditch United, for which she cared for deeply.
“Chris, Craig, Tom, Lara and Dan would like to thank the heartfelt warmth from the Redditch United community and also deeply thank Macmillan, Marie Curie and The Shakespeare Hospice in Stratford for their deep care.
“There is a deep hole in our lives as we remember a special lady.”
The Swan family have requested privacy at this time, but welcome any donations to be made to The Shakespeare Hospice.
Meanwhile, the annual end of season parents matches at the Valley Stadium, which will this year be played on Sunday, May 1, will now be known as the Sallie Swan Memorial Cup games. Fans are welcome and all money raised will go to cancer charities.