‘Mr Padiham’ Alan Smith suffered a stroke on Sunday but is hopefully on the road to recovery.
Mr Smith, who turned 60 in June, has spent almost 25 years working at Padiham Football Club in everything from groundsman to secretary to accountant to fundraiser.
He was at their 3-1 North West Counties Premier League defeat to West Didsbury and Chorlton at the Arbories on Saturday doing his usual jobs which included marking the pitch, taking the gate money and washing the kit.
However the father-of-one, who is married to Alison, felt unwell at his home on Sunday, collapsed and is now at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.
“There are two kinds of strokes - a brain stroke and a blood clot on the brain and Alan has suffered the latter which is thankfully less serious,” said Padiham manager Steve Wilkes.
“They are doing tests on Alan this week to thin his blood and there is a 97 per cent chance he will be fine so we have all got our fingers-crossed.
“Whatever he won’t be back at Padiham before the end of the season.”
Mr Smith, who used to run in the Burnley and Pendle Grand Prix series, gave up his job in sales and marketing more than ten years ago and has spent a lot of his time applying for grants to make the Arbories, and the area around it, more scenic. He is a familiar face around the town.
“We will miss him and wish him all the best as he works so hard for the football club and for Padiham itself,” added Mr Wilkes.