Witham Town manager Garry Kimble wants his players to produce a season that would have made Tony Last proud as a fitting tribute to their chairman, who died last week.

The 65-year-old passed away while at Witham’s Spa Road ground on Thursday after suffering a heart attack and Kimble, like everyone at the club, is still coming to terms with his loss (see newspages) for more tributes.

Last had been a huge presence at Witham for 15 years and oversaw their rise to the Ryman League premier division – the highest level the club has ever reached – at the end of last season.

Now Kimble is calling on his players to keep the club there with a season that would have made Last proud.

“It was such a shock as I was talking to Tony earlier that evening at the club,” said Kimble. “He was Witham Town through and through and it’s so sad for everyone associated with the club.

“We had training at the club last weekend and on Tuesday and it was so sad as you just expected Tony to be there opening up the changing rooms and having a chat as he always was.

“It’s still a big shock for everyone.

“Hopefully everyone will rally round and keep taking the club forward because that’s what Tony would have wanted us to do.

“But it’s going to be a big hole to fill. "

See this week's paper for the full version of this story and more tributes to Tony Last