ALBION supporters have been united in grief after the loss of a passionate fan and a dedicated fundraiser.
Tony Langridge was chairman of The Robert Eaton Memorial Fund (REMF) for three years, raising and distributing £70,000 to good causes including the Albion in the Community (AITC) minibus and Powerchair team as well as £10,000 to two schools in Africa.
The 67-year-old, who also ran the Prestonville Golf Society, died at The Martlets Hospice, in Wayfield Avenue, Hove, on August 13, after being diagnosed with cancer.
The Woodingdean father-of-three organised an annual golf day in aid of REMF, which raises money for football equipment for under privileged children in memory of the Albion fan who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack.
Gareth Glover, who stood aside as REMF chairman after 10 years, said Mr Langridge was the “perfect man” to take over.
He said his successor put his “life and soul” into the post and worked very hard to help make the fund “thrive”.
Mr Glover said: “I was truly privileged to have worked with Tony as he always had a smile on his face and a kind word for others, but was determined like no other to make a difference.”
His son Mike, who praised the work of hospital and hospice staff, said since his father’s death it had become apparent just how popular he was.
He said: “The biggest shock has been just how short his illness was.
“He found out towards the end of April that he had cancer and passed away in mid August.”
Scores of fans have paid tribute to Mr Langridge on the unofficial Albion fans’ forum North Stand Chat.
His close friend Dave Wilcock wrote: “He was quite simply the nicest guy I have ever met and I was honoured that he was my best friend.”
Nikki Richardson, who runs AITC's disability sport programme, said: “It is thanks to his time, energy and the support of REMF that the team are able to play and compete at the top level of powerchair football in this country.
“He was very much part of that team and will hugely be missed by the players and everyone at AITC.”
Mr Langridge’s funeral will be held at 1pm on Thursday at the Church of the Holy Cross, in Downsway, Woodingdean.
Floral tributes can be sent to Christopher Stringer Funeral Service in Rottingdean High Street, call 01273 306000.