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TRIBUTES have been paid to a town stalwart who died at the weekend.
Terry Gregory, a popular local man, was a great supporter of all things Melksham and in particular sport. He dedicated much of his time to serving the town.
He was well-known for several reasons with many remembering him running the popular Cooper Avon Sports and Social Club at Melksham House for over 26 years, before stepping down in 2009. Terry also committed much of his time supporting Melksham Town Football Club and Beanacre and Melksham Cricket Club and was keen for all sports teams and individuals in the town to succeed.
He was previously a football referee and served on Wiltshire FA for over 50 years and was president at the time of his passing. Terry received the FA 50 Year Service to Football Award in 2014 in recognition of his service to the County FA and grassroots football in Wiltshire. The Wiltshire County Football Association has run since 1884 and Terry was the first person from Melksham to be at the helm of the organisation.
The news has caused much sadness across Melksham with tributes paid on social media. On Facebook, Melksham Town Football Club posted, “Terry was a true champion of grass roots football and had served Wiltshire FA for over 50 years as well as supporting Melksham Town FC in many ways over the years.
“The game can not survive without the dedication of people like Terry so spare a thought at this time for his family and all his friends. Somethings are more important than three points on a Saturday, RIP Terry.”
While Beanacre & Melksham CC posted, “Sad news. A great supporter of our club and in fact all sport in Melksham, Terry Gregory has passed away. Thoughts are with his family.”
Mike Perrin, president of Melksham Town FC said, “I met Terry over 50 years ago when I first started playing for Melksham. He was playing for Melksham Forest but he soon turned to refereeing and was a very good referee.
“I think everyone knows how I get on with referees but he was something different, along with Mike Bevan. They were class.
“We had a few run-ins when he was in charge of discipline on the Wilts FA and he always called me ‘Perry Perrin’ after the TV series as I was defending players.
“Terry was a true gentleman and would do anything for anybody. His work on the Wilts FA and football in general will never be bettered. He was a great friend and knew more about Melksham than anybody I met. The town and county will be a poorer place without him.”
Andrea Styles summed up the sentiments of many in the town, saying, “He should be an inspiration to us all, worked so hard for the people in Melksham.”