FOOTBALL fans paid tribute to their popular former chairman on the first anniversary of his death.
A minute of applause was held and a wreath was laid on the pitch at Steel Park ahead of Corby Town’s game with Halifax on Saturday in memory of Peter Mallinger.
Fans chanted“Peter Mallinger – the spirit of Corby lives on” in tribute to the man who lost his battle with leukaemia a year ago to the day.
Banners bearing tributes hung along the terraces as a mark of respect.
The club held the Peter Mallinger Foundation Day in aid of the charitable trust set up in the inspirational leader’s name as his legacy, with the aim of continuing his work.
The trust has supported a cause close to the family’s heart, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, and has held fundraising activities in aid of the charity, which funds research in to blood cancers.
Speaking ahead of the game Peter’s son David Mallinger, who is acting chairman of the club, said: “It’s quite a moving day for us with him having passed away a year ago today.
“I am blown away by some of the banners behind the goal – ‘the Peter Mallinger army’ and a caricature of him. It’s amazing the fans have gone to that amount of trouble.”
He added: “My mother would have loved to have been here today but she wasn’t up to it.
“I want to get three points as that is what he would have wanted more than anything.”
Mr Mallinger added that the foundation aimed to support other good causes in the future.
Fans paid tribute to the late chairman, who passed away aged 74.
Jim Mackay, of Great Oakley, said: “I think he did so much for Corby – I am very sorry he died.
“He was just Mr Football. He was actually a lover of football and he put his money where his beliefs were and was a lovely man. He was genuine and would speak to anybody.”
Spectator Steve Frost, of Rushden, said: “I think he has done a lot for Corby, as he did for Kettering Town. I think it was a nice to have a tribute.”
Corby fan Steve Partridge, of Rockingham Park, Corby, said: “He has done a lot for Corby Town.
“If it wasn’t for him perhaps we wouldn’t be here at all.”
The spectator stand at the new stadium has also been named in Mr Mallinger’s memory.