TAUNTON Town Football Club recently lost one of the most important characters in the club's history.

Tom Harris passed away at the age of 95 after devoting the majority of his life to the Peacocks.

The club has said: "Club President Tom Harris passed away at the age of 95. The club will always owe Tom an immense debt of gratitude for his unstinting service and dedication for a period of over 60 years."

Tom was elected as one of the inaugural Directors when Taunton Town FC became a limited company in 1981 and Tom was elected as Chairman, a post he held until stepping down in 2010 at which point he became Club President, a role he held until his death.

Tom continued to support the club until the end although his health prevented him from coming to as many games as he would like.

Somerset County Gazette: Tom pictured with Keith Bowker who became manager at the end of 1986Tom pictured with Keith Bowker who became manager at the end of 1986 (Image: Newsquest)

When Tom stood down as Chairman in 2010, he was replaced by current incumbent Kevin Sturmey who provided this heartfelt tribute: "Every club goes through difficult times, none of us will ever make every decision correctly but Tom always acted in the best interests of Taunton Town and I have always vowed to give 100% as Tom always did.

"We will all miss him and there will never be another Tom Harris, a hero, a legend but ultimately an absolute Gentleman. Rest in Peace Tom.”

Former Taunton Town manager Russell Musker added: "I had a brilliant time at Taunton and Tom was like my Grandad. He backed and trusted me with everything, and I hope I was able to repay him.

"The time at Taunton was the happiest in my career and it was a pleasure that he asked me to manage the club. We had a great relationship both professionally and personally, never having a cross word in 11 years.”

Ian Hill former TTFC player said: "He was Mr Taunton. I remember when I signed for Taunton and met Tom for the first time, he made me very welcome and was always there for advice and help, such a lovely man. My thoughts are with the family at this sad time. You certainly were a Taunton Town legend."

Another Taunton Town icon is captain of the FA Vase winning side of 2001 Paul West who said: "I’ve known Tom pretty much my whole life. He watched me grow from a young boy into a man. He supported me with fierce loyalty at the toughest times. What a journey we went on. Love you."