SOMERSET football is mourning the passing of former Taunton Town and Bridgwater Town stalwart Gordon Nelson, who has died just days before what would have been his 88th birthday.

Nelson joined Taunton's Supporters Club in 1952, and then the club's Football Committee in 1964.

He served as the Peacocks' football secretary from 1978 to 1982, at which point he joined Bridgwater.

He remained with the Robins for the next 25 years, proving instrumental in the formation of the current club, as treasurer on the inaugural committee in 1984.

Nelson was chief administrative officer at Bridgwater College, and so was able to gain permission for the Robins to use their sports hall for training and changing.

When the club leased the adjoining football field from Sedgemoor District Council, he showed his resourcefulness in putting together much of the infrastructure at Fairfax Park.

Four floodlight pylons came from Taunton Marshalling Yard when it closed, furniture for the Robins' Club from a private club in Taunton when it also closed, and 200 wooden tip-up seats from Yeovil Town's Huish Park when it was redeveloped.

Nelson sought out and applied for loans and grants which were essential in the development of the club, while proving the driving force in the second seated stand at Fairfax Park.

He was behind the publishing of a matchday programme, acting as its editor, main contributor and printer at the outset, while his sons Chris and Steve Nelson played for Bridgwater in the early 1990s.

He then returned to Wordsworth Drive as financial director under new chairman Kevin Sturmey.

Nelson handed that role on to Alan Slade in 2013, but became a life member in 2016 and one of the club's vice-presidents.

Taunton Town's statement said: "We send our deepest sympathy to his widow Mary, sons Chris, Stephen and Jonathan, his grandchildren and the rest of his family at this sad time.

"Gordon was true gentleman in life and within football.

"He gave so much to our club and will be missed by everyone at the Viridor Stadium."

A Bridgwater Town statement added: "He gave so much to our club and will be missed by everyone who knew him as a stalwart of Bridgwater Town FC.

"Rest in Peace Gordon, we owe you a great debt."