Northampton Town have announced that club historian Frank Grande has passed away.
The 70-year-old died on Thursday, having battled against illness in recent months.
Frank was very much part of the family. He has shared in the highs and the lows, the ups and the downs of the club and he will be sadly missed by us allCobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
Chairman Kelvin Thomas paid tribute to Grande, who has been the official club historian since the early 1980s, and a supporter of the team for 60 years.
“Although we knew Frank was poorly, this is an incredibly sad day and all of us at the club are devastated,” said Thomas.
“Frank will leave a huge hole in the community of this football club.
“He has been of great assistance to the club over many years, whether it be writing for the club programme, checking records, helping to arrange for former players to attend games or just helping out in any way he could.
“Frank also did something very special for me personally regarding my grandfather’s career when we first took over the club, which I have never forgotten.
“He was very much part of the family.
“He has shared in the highs and the lows, the ups and the downs of the club and he will be sadly missed by us all.
“We send our best wishes to all of Frank’s family and we will support them however we can.”
A club statement added: “Everyone at Northampton Town Football Club is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of club historian Frank Grande.
“A wonderfully loyal supporter, Frank has been a huge help to the club over many years, writing many books on Northampton Town Football Club and contributing to the matchday programme for nearly 40 years.
“The news comes just a few days after the EFL named Frank the EFL League Two Supporter of the Year.”
That award was only announced at the back end of last week, and was well deserved for a man who has been a regular at the Cobblers since going to his first game at the old County Ground in 1958.
Despite his illness, Wellingborough-born Grande still attended matches at the PTS Academy Stadium until as recently as last month.
One of his last games watching his beloved club was the 4-0 defeat at the hands of Colchester United in February, but he took that disappointment in his stride.
Indeed, he summed up the feelings of the majority Cobblers fans following that game, when he said: “It’s something we have to get used to as Cobblers fans I’m afraid... It makes the successful seasons more special.”