Tributes paid to well-known former Northampton football club chairman who left a 'legacy' during his 35 year reign

‘Graham’s legacy is much more than the football club’

By Logan MacLeod
Friday, 20th May 2022, 3:34 pm
Graham was the Northampton Spencer Football Club chairman for 35 years up until 2016
Graham was the Northampton Spencer Football Club chairman for 35 years up until 2016

Tributes have been paid to a well-known former Northampton football club chairman who left a legacy during his 35-year reign.

Former Northampton Spencer Football Club chairman Graham Wrighting died suddenly on April 28.

Graham his survived by his wife Norma, children Darren and Alison, grandchildren Ashleigh, Jedd, Oliver, and great grandchild Rex.

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Current Northampton Spencer secretary Andy Goldsmith has paid tribute to his old friend.

Andy said: "It is sad to report the passing of Graham.

"During his 35-year tenure, Graham’s legacy is much more than the football club, Spencer had a unique family bond that touched so many people over the years, which is very sadly missed but on the positive side, has left lasting memories."

"He had two passions outside his family and business, that of football and cricket.

"In his younger days Graham was more than a useful spin bowler for Gulivers, a team that were well respected not only for their on field prowess, but also for their after match social activities.

"His winter months were taken up with football, where he played in goal for Park and Moulton Wanderers in the Northampton Town League.

"However, Graham will always be remembered in Northamptonshire sporting circles for his role as chairman of Northampton Spencer.

"In his own words: “Spencer made their best-ever signing”, when he was invited to take on the roll chairman in 1983."

Andy said Spencer had reached its 'lowest ebb' when Graham took over, finishing bottom of the UCL Division One.

"Graham set about a rebuilding program that saw ex-Cobblers manager John Petts arrive as manager along with a host of good local talent.

"Within two seasons the club had regained its Premier Division status after being promoted as champions in 1984-85," Andy said.

"The arrival of Gary Sargent and Keith Bowen in 1986 saw Spencer develop into one of powerhouses of the UCL and period of unprecedented success throughout the 1990s.

"During these heady days, the club appeared in five KOC Cup finals, winning two, their first major success since joining the UCL in 1968.

"The club also appeared in two Northants Senior Cup finals and two Daventry charity cup finals.

"However, the Millers then reached their pinnacle in 1991/92 by claiming the UCL Premier Division title, in the process becoming the first club in the English football pyramid to record over 100 points in a season and score over 100 goals.

"Into the 2000s the club went on to win the Northants Senior Cup, defeating Southern League Corby Town in the final and in the latter years claim the Division One title 2014/15 in a record breaking season."

Graham, who was a Liverpool fan, stepped down as chairman in 2016.

His company, Futureprint Northampton, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020 and is still a thriving business run by son Darren.

Graham's funeral will be held at Nene Valley Crematorium at 11am on Monday, June 6. The wake will be held at Old Northamptonians Association on the Billing Road.