Manager Karl Robinson has paid a moving tribute to Chief Scout Andy King, who passed away last Wednesday aged 58.
“Richie Barker and I would often speak on the way to work and say that we hoped Kingy was in because he lifted everyone. Whenever he walked into a room, everybody would be raised – that shows you the type of man he was.
“I’d always ask to hear his stories. I’ll never forget him telling me about the times he met Bill Shankly and other football icons like Peter Reid and Howard Kendall. Kingy, himself, was a legend of the game and he loved the sport more than anybody I’ve met.
“He was so clued in and knew so much. This time last year we had a chat and he told me that it was going to be our season and every day he would remind me of that. He wasn’t wrong – he rarely was.
“Ironically, Kingy never watched us win last year – he saw us twice and we lost both times so he kindly banned himself from the Yeovil game! We wouldn’t have got to that point without him, though, and what he did for us will never be forgotten.
“This is one of the biggest losses in my life, both personally and professionally. I’m still on the floor and struggling to come to terms with this. I don’t think I’ll ever meet a person like him again.
“Outside of my family, he’s provided me with more support than anybody else. I’m just so thankful to him for his help and guidance, as well as the love he showed me and my family. My thoughts are with Andy’s family, especially his wife Barbara, his daughter and his mother, now and always.
“I’ve got plenty of stories to remember Andy King by and, at the end of every one of those stories, I’m left with a smile. He’s given me enough smiles to last a lifetime.”