In Memoriam: Jonathan Martin

We were greatly saddened to learn of the death of Jonathan Martin, who was a great friend to our football club and who passed away unexpectedly on Thursday (9th May).

Jonathan, who now lived in Switzerland but remained a keen follower of the club’s fortunes from overseas, put his business skills at the club’s disposal in the early days of AFC Telford United.

He was responsible for increasing our engagement with the local business community and other initiatives which benefitted the club hugely.

Lee Carter, who was club chairman at the time, reacted to the news and expressed the emotions being felt by many.

“I’m in absolute shock with the news about Jonathan.”

“His enthusiasm for helping the club connect with the business community was absolutely phenomenal. “

“He was responsible for so many sponsorship deals which helped the club, including the formation of the original Bucks Business Club, and he was also responsible for starting the club’s Hall of Fame.”

“It’s heartbreaking news, especially as it has come so close to the club’s 20th birthday.”

Lee was in no doubt about the impact of Jonathan’s involvement with the Bucks:

“When I think about the club’s heroes over the years, I think about people like Win Pryce  and Derek Wellings. Jonathan ranks alongside them, having done so much to help keep the dream alive.”

David Embery, who was the chairperson of the Supporters Trust Board, also reflected on Jonathan’s untimely loss:

“For those of us who knew Jonathan, it is no understatement to say that the total sadness in our hearts is second only to our thoughts and condolences towards Jonathan’s family and Friends at what must be an unbelievably terrible time.”

“Jonathan was an instrumental part of the Supporters Trust, which from 2004 onwards created the current AFC Telford Utd from the ruins of the old club. His passionate commitment to the principle of installing into the Telford community its very own community-based football club was abundantly clear to everyone who met him.”

“He was very much the ‘Ideas Man’ and where he made a difference was in taking those ideas and making them into reality, such as The Bucks Business Club. This not only raised valuable funds for the infant football club but also forged many significant and valuable connections to the commercial scene in Telford that have been proven and have stood the test of time.”

“Jonathan’s friendship was valued by us all. Not only as a supportive individual offering encouragement and a ‘can do’ attitude, but also advice and constructive criticism when that was also needed. The offering and judgement of when best to do any of these attributes is something I’ve learnt over the years to be the sign of a true friend. That is why everyone connected with Jonathan, the club and most definitely myself, will miss him and count him very much as a true friend to us all. We will keep our fond memories of him from this day onwards and count ourselves lucky he came into our lives and made a real difference to us all.”

Only last Monday, Jonathan sent a good luck message to the Bucks on social media:

“All the very best to the Bucks today in their playoff final against Leamington.

(I) Experienced the joys of three victories and one defeat in playoff finals when I was involved and (I) still have many friends who support the very different club it is today. 

Get the job done today guys and start getting back to where you should be in the pyramid “

Whilst Jonathan was doubtless as disappointed that the Bucks couldn’t take that step, we know our loss last Monday is incomparable to the loss now experienced by Jonathan’s loved ones. At the end of an emotional week, it reminds us that our success is measured not only in results on the pitch but in the relationships our club helps to build and sustain.

Jonathan was 56 years old and is survived by his wife Sue and son Henry.

He also wrote online about his life, and some of you may also know him from ‘Shropshire Lad in Switzerland’ blog:

We send our deepest sympathies and good wishes to them as they adjust to the loss of a man who was a husband and father first and foremost, but a friend to so many.

Rest in peace, Jonathan.

Numquam Obliviscere

In Memoriam: Jonathan Martin

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