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Tributes paid to former Newmarket Town football club chairman John Olive, who has died aged 74




Tributes have been paid to a former chairman of Newmarket Town football club credited with helping to secure its future.

John Olive, who was 74, and had been associated with the Cricket Field Road club for around 30 years, died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, after a short illness.

Hailing originally from Highbury in London John moved to Newmarket on his marriage to Patricia in 1969. His involvement with local football began through his son, Jonny, who played with the Paddocks Flyers under eights squad. As Jonny progressed through the junior football ranks so began John’s affiliation to Newmarket Town.

John Olive, who died last week.
John Olive, who died last week.

He initially managed a youth team, then became a member of the club’s committee, and chairman of the youth section, before becoming vice-chairman and finally club chairman, a role he held for a number of years. He worked closely with the current club chairman, Kevin Grainger, who said he had lost his best mate.

“He supported me in everything and backed me all the way,” he said. “He was a good man, a kind man, and he was instrumental in helping the club through a difficult time and today we are prospering.”

Mr Grainger highlighed John’s work to upgrade the club’s facilities including the installation of its 4G artificial pitch in 2016. “It was expensive but John backed me all the way,” he said. “We both saw it as something for the community, a legacy we could all be proud of.

Proud day ... John Olive, far right at the official opening of Newmarket Town’s 4G pitch in 2016
Proud day ... John Olive, far right at the official opening of Newmarket Town’s 4G pitch in 2016

“The main thing John loved was watching his son and his grandsons play football and all the youngsters that now play here on the pitch he worked so hard to get.”

As well as his wife and son, John also leaves two daughters, Susie and Jenny, and six grandsons. James (24), Steven (21), Daniel (18), and Lucas and Theo, both five, have all kept the family football tradition going by playing at Newmarket. The youngest is two-year-old Jacob.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Susie said: “We have received so many kind words and messages of condolence and support from friends and those connected to Newmarket Town Football Club which have been very much appreciated at this difficult time.”

John’s funeral will be at West Suffolk Crematorium on June 17. Donations in his memory can be made to Cancer Research UK through Southgate Funeral Directors.

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