Dereham Town FC to host a fond farewell for former president Jack Wiseman
- Credit: Colin Finch
Fans, friends and footballers have been invited to pay their respects to Dereham Town FC's most dedicated servant at a special event following this Saturday's home match.
Jack Wiseman, a lifelong fan and former president of the club, died on September 28 at the age of 85 after a six-month battle with cancer.
He was also a popular character around his home town's pub circuit, having run a series of venues before his retirement, including 18 years behind the bar at The Gemini on Sandy Lane.
His funeral will be held on October 18 at Colney Wood in Norwich.
But before that, there will be an opportunity for anyone who knew Mr Wiseman – from whichever walk of life – to say their farewells at a special event at the Aldiss Park ground of his beloved club.
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As specified in his will, Saturday's match against table-topping VCD Athletic will be sponsored by Mr Wiseman and is expected to draw a bumper crowd as the Magpies' faithful celebrate his life.
And after the final whistle, the stadium will host an informal get-together from 5.30pm for anyone wishing to swap stories, bring photographs and share memories of the man known as 'Mr Dereham Town'.
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Aldiss Park manager Ginny Barnes said: 'Some people might not be able to make it to the funeral, so this is a chance for them to pay their respects. Hopefully there will be lots of people there, including some ex-players with their old photographs from the good old days.
'They have not got to come to the match. We just want to see as many people as possible and to hear everybody's stories about Jackie.'
Mr Wiseman, who lived in North Elmham, leaves behind three sons, Adrian, Nigel and Neil, and his second wife Jean. His funeral service will take place at Colney Wood on October 18 at 11am, followed by a private cremation ceremony. All are welcome at the wake, which will be held at Aldiss Park.
Mourners are requested not to bring flowers, but instead donations will be shared between East Anglian Air Ambulance and North Elmham Surgery. Mr Wiseman left a simple instruction for anyone wishing to attend his funeral: 'Please wear bright clothes and a smile.'
Charity donations may be given at the service or sent c/o and payable to WC Littleproud and Son Family Funeral Directors, Hale Road, Bradenham, IP25 7RA.