TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-known man who had strong links to Silloth’s rugby and football clubs.

Silloth RUFC took to social media to report: “It is with great sadness we heard that one of our oldest supporters, and one of our longest serving presidents, Geoff Bland passed away. On behalf of Silloth RUFC, I would like to pass on our deepest condolences to his family.”

Mr Bland was 88 when he died in Silloth Nursing Home on March 25.

Silloth AFC also shared a tribute, posting: “Just a bit of sad news, Silloth AFC legend Mr Geoff Bland passed away. His legacy that he left us with so many photos and memorabilia which has been shared on here and in the changing rooms.”

Colin Baty, secretary of the football club remembers Mr Bland because of his extensive memory for history.

He said: “He was the man to go to for history projects, he had a tremendous memory.”

Until recently, Mr Bland was still working for the football club doing odd jobs. He could be seen fixing things or doing gardening around the club.

Donald Pape knew Mr Bland well, he met him through rugby and playing sport. It was when Mr Bland moved back to England from Australia that he and Mr Pape became friends. They were friends for more than 30 years.

Mr Pape said: “He was an absolute gentleman, he was a one off. He’s going to be a miss to the whole town.”

Mr Bland had a passion for fell walking and was still walking the fells in his eighties.

A tribute will be held at the Silloth v Workington rugby match on Saturday to remember Mr Bland.