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Tributes to the late Harold 'Buster' Footman

Former managers, players and fans remember Harold 'Buster' Footman, who passed away on Sunday evening (May 17th).

Buster joined the club in October 1988 as physiotherapist and he contributed to two promotion seasons under Joe Jordan in 1989-90 and John Ward in 1997-98.

He was awarded a testimonial by the club in 1999 and had a benefit game in September 2000 when Manchester United sent an Under-21 team to play City at Ashton Gate. Later he served as the club's kit-man.

Away from football, Buster was a tireless worker on behalf of numerous charities, raising well over £100,000 during his time at first Southend United and then City through stunts like abseiling and marathon endurance tests.

At the age of 60 he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for brain injured children and got to within 500 metres of the summit before reluctantly giving way to altitude sickness.

Tributes have poured in to the hugely popular former Royal Marine, who spent his last years battling bone marrow cancer, while also tending to wife Connie, herself in poor health.

Joe Jordan

“It was David Webb at Southend United who recommended Buster to me when I was looking to fashion my staff after becoming City manager.

“What he told me about Buster was that he was absolutely loyal and trustworthy. That proved to be spot-on.

“Buster had the knack of getting the best out of players and making them work hard on recovery programmes when they were injured.

“He knew how to handle professional footballers and had a vast knowledge of treating injuries. We remained friends after we went our separate ways.”

John Ward

“After my first training session as City manager Buster asked me what I was doing for the rest of the day and I said that I was going home.

“No you’re not, he replied. You are coming to lunch with me and my wife. It was already past midday, but he phoned Connie and soon I was following him to his home in my car.

“That was Buster. A great character and a very kind man. He was also very tough and used to wear a tee-shirt on even the most wintry matchday.”

Jimmy Lumsden

"God Bless Buster. A really good man and a pleasure to work with.”

Former players have also joined in the tributes. Gary Owers, who captained City’s 1997-98 promotion side, said: “Buster was a true gentleman and a great character,” while Gerry Sweeney described Buster as “a great person, one of the best.”

Cole Skuse said: “So, so sad. Buster was one of the toughest men I have ever come across. May he now rest in peace.” Now City Loans Manager Brian Tinnion said Buster "was a great person and will be very sadly missed.

And current club kitman Scott Murray added: “Buster was a true gent. I can’t believe he has gone because he was so strong that he appeared invincible.”

Marina Dolman

"I remember he would get on the coach and play old war songs, this was when we were going through a rough patch. Just to instil a bit of fun in the players when we were in a bad patch of form.

"He was also well known for wearing his white t-shirt, no matter the weather! He would always run on the pitch like that. I once saw him without his t-shirt at a function. He was dressed normally and I didn’t recognise him! He came up to me, I looked at him and thought who is this man?

"He was a great human being, always with a smile - that was the most wonderful thing about him. He never said no to helping people."

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