Andrew Jenkins, the businessman who gave his life to Carlisle United, has died.

The Blues confirmed the sad news this afternoon.

United, where Mr Jenkins had served as a director since 1959, including long spells as chairman and owner, paid a heartfelt tribute today.

"Everybody at Carlisle United Football Club is devastated to learn of the passing of Chairman Emeritus Andrew Jenkins," United said in a statement.

"There simply aren’t enough words to explain the impact Andrew had on this football club over his 64-year association. 

"Immensely loyal, Andrew first joined the board aged just 23 in 1959. He became Chairman in the 1990s, a role which he held until last November when the Piatak family took over the club.

"Andrew was then given the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus in recognition of his almost-lifelong service to the football club.

"As a mark of respect to Andrew and his family, our media channels will now be silent until Friday. 

"Our thoughts are with Andrew’s loved ones at this extremely sad time."

Mr Jenkins, 87, was also the chairman of Carlisle-based food giant Pioneer.

His extraordinary service to United was such that last season the club named the East Stand after him.

He was also named chairman emeritus, following the Piatak takeover, in recognition of his immense contribution to the club over several decades.

Blues fans have shared messages of support for Andrew's family as they remember a "true gentleman". 

The Carlisle United Supporters Club (CUOSC) Trust expressed their condolences saying: "The thoughts of all at CUOSC are with both the family and friends of Andrew Jenkins, and all those at the club itself."

In a post on social media, Carlisle's Labour Parliamentary candidate Julie Minns said: "We owe a debt of gratitude to Andrew Jenkins for his support and service to Carlisle United Football Club.

"My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time for our city," she said. 

Fans are welcome to lay flowers in memory of Andrew at the memory garden at Brunton Park, behind the Andrew Jenkins Stand.