Tributes have flooded in over the past week after the death of a retired police officer, former Suffolk Free Press football reporter, and one of AFC Sudbury’s most loyal supporters.
Pat Arbon died at West Suffolk Hospital on Thursday, surrounded by his family, at the age of 79.
Pat was well known for his involvement with AFC Sudbury since its formation in 1999, having served on the committee for Sudbury Town Football Club prior to this, and regularly supported the team at their home and away games.
Despite suffering a stroke last year, he continued to attend home matches.
On Saturday, the club paid tribute with a minute’s applause before their fixture against Haringey Borough at King’s Marsh Stadium, and hundreds have shared their memories of Pat on the club’s social media sites online.
Pat was also a part of Sudbury Police for many years, and played for the service’s cricket and snooker teams.
Tony Simpson, who served in the police with Pat, and worked with him at AFC Sudbury, said: “He was a man who was well-respected by everybody. He was a great part of my life for years and I was very close to him.
“I first met Pat when I came to the town as a police constable. We very quickly formed a friendship around sport, and we always played snooker together.
“He was a member of the Sudbury Police snooker team, and when that packed in, we both went to the Long Melford Working Men’s Club.
“I invited him to Sudbury Town Football Club, and he took over meeting and greeting club officials.
“The joke was that I would have to drag him away from people because he could talk and talk for hours. He could always take a joke and he took it all in good spirits.
“He looked forward to the games all the time and it meant a great deal to him.”
Following his retirement from the police, he reported on AFC Sudbury for the Free Press, working alongside former sports editors Alan Crumpton and Ken Watkins.
Ken said: “Pat and I worked together for eight-and-a-half years. He was my right-hand man, but, most importantly, my friend, and that friendship continued after I retired in 2008.
“Over the past year, we have attended a number of AFC games together, watching from the wheelchair bay, and talking about sport.
“I always enjoyed Pat’s company, both in the office and at matches, and I will miss that. But I have a lot of good memories.”
His funeral will be held at Risby Crematorium on Wednesday, January 10, at 3pm.