Tributes paid to late Knaresborough Town AFC president Terry Hewlett - a 'super, super man'
Tributes have been paid to Knaresborough Town AFC president Terry Hewlett following his sudden death at the age of 65.
Mr Hewlett, a servant of the Manse Lane club in a variety of roles over a period spanning more than half a century, passed away on Friday having suffered a stroke earlier in the week.
A former player, chairman, committee member and latterly the club president, he was described as "irreplacable" by current chairman Peter Plews.
"Terry Hewlett was Mr Knaresborough Town. He's irreplacable and leaves a massive hole," Plews said.
"He was a legend in the area, everybody knew him. I would describe him as a massively impressive gentleman.
"Everyone at the club is devastated by his loss. We are all still in shock."
Mr Hewlett, who is survived by his wife Ann and daughter Colette, first joined Knaresborough Town as a junior footballer in the late 1960s, having briefly played at Harrogate Railway.
Having progressed to the club's first team, he made his debut in an 11-0 victory at Nostell Miners Welfare on November 21, 1970.
A forceful winger or striker, he scored goals regularly before retiring from playing and joining the Boro committee.
He became chairman in 1996 when Chris Parkes stepped down and retained that position until he assumed the role of president in 2016.
Mr Hewlett oversaw a number of major developments within the club, including the building of a new clubhouse and promotion from the West Yorkshire League into the Northern Counties East Football League.
And Paul Stansfield, Boro's first team manager, said that Mr Hewlett was "the go-to person" at Manse Lane.
"He was there all the time, a massive presence who devoted himself to Knaresborough Town. If you had any issues, or you needed anything, Terry would sort it," Stansfield added.
"When he took over as chairman and brought in Brian Davey as manager it led to us winning the West Yorkshire Premier League, which was a real turning point.
"He's done so much for this football club and I don't think you could argue that any one person has done more.
"Terry was a super, super man. My heart goes out to Ann and Colette."
Stansfield's predecessor, Davey, described Mr Hewlett as a "great man."
"Terry was one of the main reasons I took the job as Knaresborough Town manager," he added.
"To be in his company was just brilliant. He was so funny and always had a story to tell - usually about himself. I'm sure everybody would say the same.
"He'd always say that no one person was bigger than the football club, but for a lot of years Terry was bigger than it because he was the club. He'll be missed massively."
Despite his passing just 24 hours before Saturday's NCEL Premier Division home fixture with Garforth Town, the club decided to play the game in Mr Hewlett's memory.
"We spoke to Terry's family who said that he would've wanted the match to go ahead and, as a committee, we thought the same thing," Plews said following the 1-1 draw.
"It was a very emotional day, a really sad occasion but also a very special one too. A lot of people came down to the ground to pay their respects.
"Terry's wife and daughter were there and it must have been unbelievably tough for them, but at least we were all together and they said they took great comfort from being with us.
"We'll all group together and make sure that they feel supported by the club going forwards."