HEREFORD fans and the football club are mourning the death of their former vice-chairman and benefactor Mike Roberts.

Mike was a successful local businessman and Group Chairman of C F Roberts, one of the UK’s leading providers of electrical and mechanical design, installation and maintenance services.

He was also a lifelong fan of Hereford United/Hereford FC and served them as a supporter, a volunteer fundraiser, a director, a shareholder, a vice-chairman of the club and most latterly as a benefactor of Hereford FC.

Club historian Ron Parrott, put together the following tribute for the Hereford FC website.

“Mike’s story starts with his father, Cyril Roberts J.P., who not only founded the company C F Roberts but introduced Mike to football at an early age. "Cyril was also a lifelong supporter of Hereford United and helped to nurture young Mikes’ passion for the Club during his formative years. Mike has certainly followed in his footsteps.

"Like many leading lights of the club over the years, Mike started off as a member of the Supporters’ Club back in the mid-sixties and when the club lost a huge chunk of the Edgar Street side of the ground to the new ring road in 1968, the club were in severe financial difficulties and in danger of folding.

"Mike was quick to answer the call for help and was a founder member and chairman of the Hereford United Grandstand Fund committee that raised over £30,000 (a staggering £525,000 in today’s money!) to help fund the building of the Len Weston stand.

"In recognition of his achievements, Mike was co-opted onto the Hereford United Board of Directors in October 1972 and went on to serve them in this capacity for almost 25 years, always under the chairmanship of his good friend Peter Hill.

"At the AGM of shareholders in September 1979, Mike succeeded John Jackson as vice-chairman and received a unanimous vote.

"He threw himself wholeheartedly into his new role and was an immediate success, quickly earning the respect of his fellow directors and supporters alike.

"Those who knew Mike well, appreciated his wit and humour.

"Mike’s love for Hereford United shone through in other ways too.

"Many directors in the past, who professed to have been lifelong supporters of the club, came and went.

"They served their time on the Board and despite their supposed love of the club, they were never seen at Edgar Street again!

"But not so Mike, he continued to support the club right through to the end and when Hereford FC reformed, Mike was one of the five original benefactors who gave £50,000 to the cause to get the club up and running again and continued to watch the club until very recently.

"Sadly, men of Mike’s calibre are few and far between and he will be sorely missed."

The club added: "Our thoughts, at this very difficult time are with his friends and family. Rest in peace Mike and thank you for everything."