Shoreham FC in mourning: Ralph was much more than just a chairman
Shoreham FC's bosses, players and supporters have been devastated by the death of co-chairman Ralph Prodger.
The 58-year-old was a big part of the life of the Middle Road club and tributes have flooded in since Ralph passed away on Saturday.
His fellow co-club chairman Stuart Slaney paid a heartfelt tribute in which he revealed plans to name a stand after Ralph and make sure an annual charity match that he got off the ground would continue as a legacy.
Stuart said: "Ralph, a husband, father, a friend to all that met him, and co-chairman of Shoreham Football Club, sadly passed away after a short illness on Saturday morning (March 6) with his family by his side.
"Ralph was 58 years young and has left behind his wife Cheryl, two sons Max and Harry - and a huge hole in everyone’s life.
"Ralph was a larger-than-life character with a wonderful happy personality. A scaffolder by trade, he worked all over the south coast which meant he touched hundreds of people’s lives wherever he went.
"Apart from Ralph's family his other love was football and an avid Leeds supporter, he got to see his beloved Leeds reach the Premier League and hold their own. Like many youngsters his two sons Max and Harry play football which found them both playing for Shoreham FC where they still play.
"Ralph and Cheryl immediately fell in love with the football club and in 2015 became joint owners of Shoreham FC with me.
"During this period Ralph helped the club strive forward to great heights and achievements with the club being promoted to the Isthmian League for the first time in its history. He also helped build the youth side of things, making Shoreham one of the largest clubs in the area. Without Ralph’s involvement none of this would have been possible.
"Ralph was not just a co-chairman, he loved meeting and helping everyone at the club and in the community and on some occasions would even be found flipping burgers and serving the supporters in the ground's café, which is a rare thing for a club chairman to do - but that was Ralph: always wanting to help and meet as many people as he could when Shoreham played at home.
"Ralph’s involvement did not stop there - he also arranged an annual charity match each April for local charities which has to date raised over £8,000. The club will ensure that this annual event continues.
"With Ralph's wonderful and kind personality, everyone that met him within the football fraternity instantly formed a friendship and a lasting impression, which is a very rare and unique gift.
"The non-league family have lost a true gent and one of the most honest and nicest people in the game.
"The plan is for the club to honour him in the first match when football returns in April/May and the club will name the main stand with a plaque “The Prodger Stand”.
"Everyone attached to the club, the league and all those that were lucky enough to meet Ralph will miss him dearly and we send Cheryl, Harry and Max our love and condolences."