HYDE United manager Darren Kelly admits he is stunned by the death of chief executive Mark Worthington – and says everyone was hit by the tragedy.
The man known to some as ‘Mr Hyde United’ passed away shortly after the end of the Evo-Stik League premier division season on Tuesday, April 23.
Mr Worthington’s funeral takes place on Monday, May 13 and dozens of people, including representatives from other clubs, left messages on an online book of condolence.
And Kelly says he will miss the relationship he had with him, even though it did include the odd bout of ‘comedy tourettes.’
He said: “We used to wind each other up. I said he had ‘comedy tourettes’ as he would say the most inappropriate thing at the most inappropriate time.
“But he was there for everyone. He was our driving force, he was our leader.
“The very tragic circumstances have affected everybody connected with the club.
“I was very close to Mark and we were just chatting the day before and was expecting a call from him, so to be told that he had sadly passed away hit me hard, as it has with everyone.
“I’m still devastated by it, it’s just heartbreaking. I was sad when I found out I wouldn’t see him again.”
Mr Worthington’s legacy will live on after a foundation was set up with the aim of raising £10,000 for projects to help the lives of young people through sport and social enterprise.
It says: “He not only helped develop educational and training opportunities for them through his involvement with Hyde Football academy, but also kick-started many careers at his hotels in Mallorca, through his internship scheme and his employment of ambitious young local people.
“His wife Helen and children Dan and Ella would dearly love to continue his legacy by eventually setting up the Mark Worthington Foundation to carry on his work with young people.
“A charitable foundation which will support specific projects that help those young people in the north west of England who have fewer opportunities.
“Projects will focus on sport and social enterprise, areas Mark cared passionately about.”
If you would like to donate, go online: