Tributes pour in following death of former non-league footballer and coach Chris Hitchings

Tributes pour in following death of former non-league footballer and coach Chris Hitchings. Image: Sarah Hitchings/Facebook

TRIBUTES flooded social media after the heartbreaking news that popular former non-league footballer and coach Chris Hitchings had died following his battle with cancer.

Sarah Hitchings, Chris’ wife of 20 years, paid tribute to her husband as multiple non-league football clubs also shared their sorrow at the loss of the former footballer and coach.

On Wednesday, January 4, Sarah wrote on Facebook: “My beautiful husband gained his angel wings at 1:52 am 😇 he’s the strongest, bravest kindest soul I’ve come across & he’s left the biggest whole in my ♥️.

“No amount of words will bring my partner in crime, my right arm, my everything back. I’m truly heartbroken beyond’s words. He was a pure diamond & I will be forerver grateful for the best 20 years of my life & I wouldn’t change any of it, only to have longer.”

She added: “He never stopped fighting or looking out for me or our little family if only ♥️ could have saved him. All my ♥️ always Hitchings so glad we got to say “I do” 😘

Football clubs, friends and family share their own tributes to Chris on social media.

Yorkshire Amateur AFC wrote: “Rest In Peace Chris Hitchings. Firstly, our thoughts go to his wife, and partner of 20 years Sarah, and their children, following the passing of Chris earlier today.”

The club added: “Chris, a former Ammers captain and defender, instilled upon everyone who knew him how he would do anything for anyone.

“When representing Ammers, he was part of a promotion winning side, the defender known to leave everything on the pitch when playing. An Ammers legend.”

One person commented on the post from the club, writing: “Horrendous news enjoyed our battles on the pitch! Sending love to his family ❤️”

And another said: “Rest in peace mate. Enjoyed our battles and playing together. ❤️”

While another replied: “Rest in peace Chris. A true leader, gent and class player. 💙”

More of Chris’ former clubs shared tributes.

Garforth Town wrote: “The sad news has reached us that former Garforth Town midfield maestro Chris Hitchings has passed away.

“Chris played for us in two spells, 2004-07 and 2012-13.

The club added: “He was part of the squad that won promotion from the NCEL division one and Premier Division. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and former team-mates.”

“We are sorry to hear that former Rothwell Juniors coach Chris Hitchings sadly passed away this morning. Chris helped a number of teams with coaching and sponsorship over the years. He was a family man who loved his football,” wrote Rothwell Juniors on Facebook.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. He will be greatly missed.”

Lewis Anthony, a member of Sunday League team The Old Crooked Clock FC, shared how brave Chris had been as he battled cancer.

“RIP to the bravest man I know. Chris Hitchings,” he wrote.

“Did absolutely anything for anybody even whilst been unbelievably poorly. A man who point blank refused to let cancer get the better of him and gave his all to play football for the clock on a Sunday morning when we struggled for players.”

He added: “This world is rotten. Chris, you are a legend mate, truly one of a kind… and if I become even 10% of the man you were I’ll take that as success.

“I will never forget you mate. Thankyou for absolutely everything you’ve done for me personally, and everybody at The Old Crooked Clock FC thanks you for your unbelievable efforts during that terrible illness.

“There’s Only 1 Chris Hitching.”

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]