Tributes to Yarmouth Town legend Keith

Keith Saunders (right) on son's wedding day in May 2021.

Keith Saunders (right) on son's wedding day in May 2021. - Credit: Supplied

Tributes have been paid to a father who dedicated his life to Great Yarmouth Town Football Club.

Keith Saunders, a committee member of the club, died from liver cancer on Tuesday, November 23. He was 53-years-old.

He joined the Bloaters' committee after "seeing the light" and not renewing his Norwich City season ticket.

Previously, Mr Saunders had been a 'Yarmouth Yellow' and even travelled as far as Warsaw to see the Canaries play.

Keith Saunders

Keith Saunders (centre) behind the bar at Smudgers. - Credit: Supplied

A spokesperson for the Bloaters said: "We were deeply saddened at the news of Keith's passing.

"Keith was a devoted Bloaters fan who also served on the committee for the past four years.

"Keith was a much-loved character who threw himself into helping at the club.

"Nothing was too much trouble for Keith and his quick-wit livened up the room.

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"He has left a big whole in the Bloater's family and will be greatly missed."

Keith with a big group of people.

Cameron said Keith (centre-right) would have been surprised at how fondly he is remembered. - Credit: Supplied

His son Cameron Saunders remembered his dad as someone who "liked to be in charge".

"Dad was never one to sit in the back and get drunk," Cameron, 25, said.

"He was always the sensible one who drove the minibus.

"He was in charge."

Keith Saunders with baby Cameron.

Keith Saunders with baby Cameron during Euro 96. - Credit: Supplied

Mr Saunders passed on his love of football to his son, and the two would often travel the country to watch Norwich City play.

"We drove all the way to Rochdale for a couple of days for the Carling Cup," Cameron said.

"On the way back, we filtered through through football towns and visited all their grounds.

"It was all part of the adventure."

The best game Cameron saw with his father was Norwich's 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough at the 2015 Football League Championship play-off Final at Wembley

In the excitement, Cameron accidentally elbowed his father in the face.

"It got a bit lively," Cameron said.

"Dad said, 'if this was any other time, I would be angry with you, but as we just saw Norwich score at Wembley, I'll let you off'."

Keith and Jason at Inter Milan 93.

Keith and his friend Jason watching Inter Milan, 1993. - Credit: Supplied

Mr Saunders was known for his support of other people and the football community.

Cameron said: "Dad was sponsoring players and charity events.

"That was his way of giving to the community.

"He was one of these people who wanted no attention in that sense.

"He would help 100 people before he let anyone help him."

Keith (left) with his friends - Gally, Terry and Robert - in Tottenham 1987.

Keith (left) with his friends - Gally, Terry and Robert - in Tottenham 1987. - Credit: Supplied

Cameron and his wife, Hannah, married in May and said it was very special for them that his father could be a part of it.

He added: "He made it a very special moment.

"It was the first time he was around such a big group of people since before lockdown and he took it head on.

"He was really sociable and he didn't let his trouble get in the way of him enjoying himself.

"He did incredibly well.

"We're very thankful dad could be at our wedding.

"That's the main thing for me - having my dad with me on my wedding day."

Keith, Hannah and Cameron Saunders.

Keith (left) was a special part of his son and daughter-in-law's wedding. - Credit: Supplied

Cameron and his wife wanted to thank all of Mr Saunders' friends who kept in touch with him throughout his illness and "still made him feel part of the group", ad thanked his brother Peter and his closest friend, Maria LeBrock.

Cameron added: "I would like to thank everyone at GYTFC who made dad feel like he was part of the family. He was taken in by so many people, so a massive thanks to everyone who supported him in his moment of need.

Another tribute was paid by Kevin Knell who said Mr Saunders was "the best friend anyone could ask for".

Keith Saunders as a boy

Keith Saunders in the early 1970s. - Credit: Keith Saunders

Mr Saunders funeral will take place at Gorleston Crematorium on Friday, December 17 at 2.30pm.

His wake will be held at The Kings Arms on Northgate Street immediately following the funeral.

His funeral has been arranged through Arthur Jary and Sons.

Keith Saunders

Keith Saunders had been a member of Great Yarmouth Town Football Club's committee for 4 years, and was often driving the minibus for the players. - Credit: Supplied