Former Yeading chairman Phillip Spurden, who spearheaded the club’s merger with Hayes, has died aged 64.
Known to many across non-League football as ‘Spud’, Spurden also played in goal for Yeading – making 159 appearances for the club – and Uxbridge.
Later, as Yeading’s chairman, and a builder by trade, he helped both finance and build The Warren stadium, which is currently being redeveloped and is due to become Hayes & Yeading United’s new home from next season.
In 2007, he and Hayes chairman Derek Goodall shook hands on a deal that shocked non-League football – with the two fierce rivals agreeing to merge.
Spurden believed this was the only way the two clubs could survive and his foresight proved correct as Hayes & Yeading United secured promotion to the Conference Premier in 2009.
While never holding an official title within the merged club, Spurden retained close links with United’s management, players and supporters, overseeing the redevelopment of The Warren until ill health forced him to take a back seat.
United have paid tribute to Spurden, calling him ‘a true gentleman who committed his life to his football club’.
A spokesperson said: “He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him and everybody who had the pleasure to meet him.”