Tributes have been paid to a sporting "legend” following his death at the age of 86. 

Tony Marcantonio, of North Walsham Rugby Club, has died following a short spell in hospital. 

His association with the club goes back to the early 1980s when his son Alex joined the youth section at Scottow.

He fulfilled many roles during his time there, including serving as a committee member and chair in 2000/01. 

During the 1990s and 2000s, he became the Scottow-based club's press officer and followed the team across the south of England writing reports for the Eastern Daily Press.

He was also well-known for phoning in half-time and full-time reports to BBC Radio Norfolk

READ MORE: Tribute to man who dedicated his life to football in Norfolk

Around 15 years ago, he stepped back from that role to manage the club’s second team, the Raiders – a responsibility he held until last summer.  

The Raiders' 24-14 home win over Newmarket on March 11 was his last match where he was described as being “on good form, pacing the touchline in his trademark style”. 

During this season, right up until he became ill, he continued writing match previews, collating statistics, and greeting visiting teams and officials upon their arrival at Scottow Park to ensure everyone felt welcome. 

A club statement said: “Everyone associated with North Walsham RFC, and indeed the wider Norfolk rugby community, will be saddened to hear of the death of Tony Marcantonio. 

“Tony was, quite simply, a very nice man. Always keen to help, supportive and willing to do anything, he fulfilled all his roles diligently and was a good friend to the club and many of its members.  

“A perfect gentleman, he was highly respected in the rugby community in Norfolk, eastern counties, and beyond, always representing North Walsham RFC in an exemplary manner.  

“Tony was a true club legend. He was part of the bedrock of our club and we will miss him terribly.” 

READ MORE: Tributes to athlete left wheelchair bound following motorcycle accident

He was also a member of Wroxham Sailing Club.

Mr Marcantonio, of Beighton, near Acle, died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Wednesday, April 12 following a short illness. He leaves behind wife Julia, children Celia and Alex, and grandchildren. 

A minute’s silence will be held before the Vikings' first team game at home to Rochford Hundred on Saturday, April 15.

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