BURY Football Club have joined scores of well-wishers to pass on their condolences to the family of much-loved Shakers fan Keith Freeman, who died suddenly yesterday (Sunday, January 12).

The former landlord of the Waterloo pub, in Manchester Road, had been a loyal supporter for many years.

“Keith Freeman was a fan in every sense of the word, and a great friend of the club,” said a spokesman for Bury.

“Keith would often take young players under his wing, especially if they came from out of the area.

“He will be greatly missed by everyone at the JD Stadium and our deepest condolences are offered to the family and friends of a great Shaker.”

Former Bury player Jamie Hoyland reiterated those sentiments.

“I remember him from my playing days, and more recently he sat just in front of me in the main stand at the JD,” said Hoyland.

“He was such a lovely fella and I know he will be sadly missed by everyone connected to the club.”

David Giffard, chairman of Forever Bury, said Freeman played a big part in the evolution of the supporters group, allowing them to meet at his pub and pass around a collection bucket in the club's darker days.

“It is very sad news about Keith – he was Bury FC through and through,” added Giffard.

Supporters and fans groups are now leading calls for a minute’s applause in his honour to be held at Bury's next home game against Burton Albion on Saturday.