Article Picture – Mick (centre) pictured with Lee Featherstone (left) and Scott Brough (right) celebrating Matlock’s 2-0 win over Belper Town in the Derbyshire Senior Cup Final at Pride Park on 20 April 2010.

Non league football lost one of it’s true gentlemen when Matlock Town President Mick Tomlinson passed away after a short illness in Chesterfield Royal Hospital on October 27.

Legend is a term that is sometimes overused in football circles but popular and friendly Mick will always be a legend as far as Matlock Town is concerned.

Eighty three years old Mick had given fifty years loyal service to the Gladiators and played a key administrative role in the good and not so good times the club has experienced in his tenure.

He became Treasurer at Matlock back in 1966, brought to the club by Keith Brown who would later also give years of loyal service as Secretary and Chief Executive.

Nine years later in April 1975 would come Matlock’s greatest ever day as they beat Scarborough by a 4-0 margin in the FA Trophy Final. Mick was also looking after the finances when they reached the Third Round of the FA Cup, won the NPL Greenalls Cup at Maine Road and went to Italy to represent Matlock and England in the Anglo-Italian Non League tournament in 1979.

They were the successful times but Matlock also had their fair share of struggles when Mick performed his duties with the same professionalism and thoroughness expected of a Club Treasurer. Put quite simply he was very good at his job.

Being Treasurer of a non league club involves dealing with players’ wages and given that his day job was in the Salaries and Wages Department at Derbyshire County Council where he would move on to be Head of Department, he was obviously well prepared for his role at Matlock Town.

He did his National Service in the RAF and moved to Matlock in 1958 when the County Council relocated its headquarters from Derby and on arrival he immediately looked for a scout group to join and found the 15th situated on Matlock Green. Mick became Rover Scout Leader having Keith Brown under his wing and a strong friendship developed and flourished between them and has remained ever since.

Mick’s interest in scouting remained throughout his life. He became Treasurer of Matlock Scout and Guide Group initially on a temporary basis around the same time as he took on a similar role at the Football Club. He must obviously have done a great job for both organizations as he was working on the books of the Scout and Guide Group the morning before he was taken ill recently.

As a regular attender at Matlock’s games Mick also took on the role of reporter for the Matlock Mercury, Derbyshire Times, Derby Evening Telegraph and some papers connected with Matlock’s opponents, plus he was a regular voice on BBC Radio Derby covering Town’s games throughout the north of England. Bear in mind this was before the days of mobile phones and it took some pleading with the home club to be able to use their telephone or finding a public phone box close to the ground to keep fans informed of the Gladiators fortunes.

Mick retired from full time employment at the age of sixty which gave him more time to devote to Matlock Town. He carried out his duties with dignity, with close attention to detail and treated the club’s money as if it was his very own.

Paying tribute to the Club President, Chairman Tom Wright said “Matlock Town and non league football has lost a lovely man. He always had a smile and a warm welcome for the opposition visiting Causeway Lane and was well liked throughout the league. He gave the club outstanding service over a long period of time and will be sadly missed. All of our thoughts are with his wife Susan and Mick’s family and friends.”

A minute’s silence in Mick’s memory was held before the recent home win over Frickley Athletic. A celebration of his life will take place at Chesterfield Crematorium on Wednesday 12 November at 2.30 pm followed by the wake at the Autoworld Lounge at the Football Club.

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