A CHIRK football club has paid tribute to a ‘loveable and gentle’ long-standing member who died earlier this week.

Tributes are being paid by those at Chirk AAA FC and in the community after the club’s groundsman, Phil Kynaston, died on Thursday at the age of 53.

Phil was an integral part of the day-to-day running of the Colliers, having worked at the club alongside his job at Kronospan.

Nigel Roberts, member of Chirk AAA FC, led the tributes online after Phil’s death was announced.

He posted on behalf of the club: “We are all devastated by this news, and our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

“Phil has been an integral part of our club for a number of years and his dedication to the upkeep of the ground will be greatly missed.

“Rest in peace Phil.”

Nigel recalled the work regularly carried out by Phil, and spoke highly of his sense of humour.

He added: “Phil was a loveable, likeable character, and a very gentle character.

“He was very quiet, and shy in his own way, but he had a wicked sense of humour.

“He smoked a pipe which is very rare these days – he was very recognisable to all associated with the club.

“He spent many, many years here as our groundsman – he will missed very much by everybody at the club.

“The work he did at the club is immeasurable and he will certainly be a big miss to us.

“He would come off his night shift at Kronospan and before he went to bed, he would come to the club, jump on the tractor and cut the grass.

“That’s how dedicated he was, he was just that type of guy.

“It’s such a sad loss. Our thoughts are with his family at this moment in time.”

Mark Holmes, who has managed multiple teams at Chirk AAA FC, echoed Nigel’s comments.

He said: “He was my right-hand man here for the past 10 years.

“He will be greatly missed by everybody at the club. It’s such a huge loss.”

The news was shared on the Chirk AAA Supporters Facebook page, with messages of condolences posted by former players and members of the community in memory of Phil.