ONE of the most popular names in Oswestry football has passed away.

Bill Jerman was chairman of Oswestry Town when he oversaw the merger with Total Network Solutions (TNS) to form the modern-day club that is The New Saints.

He was also the first person to take an English team, into Welsh football.

He oversaw the merger with TNS in 2003 when he was looking for a way to make a sustainable future for Oswestry Town, and was a fierce defender of the decision to merge with a Welsh league rival.

The news was confirmed late on Sunday by his grandson Andy Wilson, who tweeted: "The stars have gained a legend.

"RIP to the man I was proud to call my grandad. I’ll miss his smile, his passion, his cheekiness & amazing stories from his many experiences. He was the 1st person to take an English club into the Welsh League.

"RIP Bill Jerman."

TNS chairman Mike Harris paid tribute to his long-standing friend.

He said: "Bill will be sadly missed.

"He was a great gentleman who I spent many hours talking with about his passion for The New Saints and Oswestry Town.

"He will be sadly missed by myself and everyone around the club, especially his match day enthusiasm about seeing good football. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

"He may be gone but won’t be forgotten. Rest In Peace Bill, my friend."