WATCH: Ipswich Town fans and players pay tribute to 'true legend' Paul Mariner
- Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Town fans paid a moving tribute to club legend Paul Mariner on Saturday afternoon, after his death last month aged 68.
The club honoured Mariner, one of Sir Bobby Robson’s heroes from 1978 and 1981, with a minute's applause ahead of kick-off in the season opener against Morecambe.
Members of his family were present, and there was a collection for the Brain Tumour Charity. Mariner died on Friday, July 9, after a brief battle with brain cancer.
Earlier, fellow club legend Terry Butcher told the Ipswich Town club website how the striker had been "adored" at the club.
Butcher said: "Where do you start with him? He was an absolute legend. He was a great help to me at the club, to lots of other players - he was the perfect player in many aspects and the perfect guy off the pitch."
Mariner made 260 appearances for Town between 1976 and 1984 scoring 96 goals, he also represented England between 1977 and 1985.
Butcher paid tribute to his qualities, saying he was technically gifted, quick, sharp and physically strong.
"His contribution to Ipswich Town can never be overstated," he said, adding he had been one of the best strikers in Europe.
He added: "Off the pitch he was a character, you don't get many characters like him now.
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"Whenever you talk about Paul I smile, because there were so many great memories of him, so many funny times, but also serious times when we did the business for the club.
"What made him so good is he was an inspiration for everybody. he was a leader, he was a focal point where everything went to and he got people playing around him. Ask Alan Brazil and Eric Gates, they played a lot off him, the flick-ons the knock-downs, the headers - he was just incredible."
Mariner’s family posted a statement on Twitter after his death saying: “We would like to thank all of the people who came to see him through his illness for their support and for the messages that were sent to him, they meant a great deal to him and us.”