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Ightham Football Club legend Mick 'Munch' Ashby, of Cramptons Road in Sevenoaks, died after he fell from a scaffolding in Aylesford

04 March 2014
by James Walker

Mick Ashby was a legend of local football.

Affectionately called Munch, he spent more than four decades at Ightham Football Club, starting off as a player and moving on to become a coach and caretaker. 

An accident repairing the storm damaged roof of a Ditton home brought all of that to a sudden end, but he continues to warm the hearts of his family through tributes from friends, relatives and acquaintances.

More than 100 letters and cards have been received by his widow Jane, of Cramptons Road in Sevenoaks, since the 62-year-old died on Wednesday, February 19.

Close friend Andy Rayfield says they are amazed to see he touched so many lives.

Mr Rayfield, now 47, first met Munch when he was 16 and the pair went on to form a close bond.

He told the Kent Messenger: “Munch was a great man. I met him when I was a teenager, soon after I started working one day a week at a builders' merchants in Sevenoaks.

“He got me playing football and our families grew very close- he was best man at my wedding eight years ago.

“I played in defence alongside him, as a centre back, and he always took care of young players making the leap to adult football without being aggressive. He had a presence that other people respected.

“After he stopped playing he started to help in any way he could. He coached the reserves and helped prepare them for the adult game and was always the first to the ground on a Saturday morning.”

Munch was initially a rugby player for Sevenoaks RFC but after suffering a knee injury he joined Ightham Football Club.

He played as an old fashioned centre half in the 1970s and 80s and after hanging up his boots managed the club’s two teams, but focused mainly on the reserves where he helped generations of youngsters progress to the adult game.

He would also referee games and helped carry out repairs on the club’s pavilion.
Mr Rayfield added: “Ightham Football Club has lost a true stalwart and extends its sympathies and thoughts to Munch’s family.

“He became a father figure to many of those young players, a protective presence on the touchline and a positive influence on many lives away from the football pitch, a source of friendship and guidance.”

Munch never woke from the severe injuries he suffered after a ladder collapsed beneath him on Thursday, February 13.

The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance attended the scene and airlifted him to the Royal London Hospital but could not be saved.

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