Wimborne Town are looking forward to saying their final goodbyes to Kevin Hart at his funeral next week after celebrating their head steward’s life with a minute’s applause amid emotional scenes at Cuthbury.
His passing at the age of 49 on New Year’s Day was marked at the weekend with his family looking on as fans, players and officials remembered a man who’d give more than 20 years of his free time to the club.
The popular volunteer, pictured, collapsed in the entrance to the clubhouse at Cuthbury before the Magpies beat Poole Town 2-1 in the Southern League’s Premier Division South.
Despite being given CPR by two Magpies fans and treatment by medics when they arrived at the scene before being transferred to hospital, he sadly passed away later that evening.
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The Magpies paid tribute to Mr Hart in statement announcing his passing and a further celebration of his life at Cuthbury after his funeral takes place on Tuesday 21 January.
The club said: “Kevin has been with the Magpies for over 20 years and was a part of the furniture helping the club he loved and supported second to his beloved Tottenham Hotspur.
“Before yesterday’s match Kevin collapsed in the entrance to our clubhouse, he was treated to by medics extensively and later transferred to hospital where late last night he sadly passed away.
“We would like to pass on our thanks to everyone who helped during this terrible situation and for both sets of supporters for being so understanding.
“A friendly character who will be sadly missed by his family, friends, colleagues and supporters, not only the Magpies but a great many of our visiting supporters who he would chat to at each match.
“Kevin had the great attribute of being calm in all situations, always having a smile as well as time to chat to everyone he bumped into before, during and after every match.
“The head steward position will also remain vacant for the rest of this season as a mark of respect to a member of the Magpies family who is now flying above us all. RIP Kevin Hart from Wimborne Town FC.”
Magpies club captain Scott Arnold described the club stalwart as “one in a million” in interview with the Bournemouth Echo.
Arnold told the paper’s website: “He was at the core of the club and completely irreplaceable. Without people like Kev you do not have a club. People that met him always remembered him.
“When you turned up at Cuthbury he was the first face you would see, waving you in while he was on car park duty. Then next thing you know he is around the ground doing stewarding.
“He would be the first person to welcome you and in the bar he was the last person to say goodbye or be the one that is offering you a drink. He was so much more than just a steward. He was a good friend as well.”
Image courtesy of @WimborneTownFC/Twitter