FANS, ex-players and the general public are invited to Damson Park this Saturday for a celebration of the life of Solihull Moors manager Bob Faulkner who died on Tuesday morning after an 18 month battle with prostate cancer.
Faulkner, the longest serving manager in non-league football, took over at the then Moor Green on Boxing Day 1985.
Moors, currently 6th in the Blue Square North, take on Corby Town on Saturday and club chairman Nigel Collins would like to see it as an official send off to one of the key figures of the game.
“People in football become legends after five minutes but Bob Faulkner is a legend. 25 years in charge of one club, over 1,250 league matches, and he is totally irreplaceable,” said Collins.
“Bob was an intensely private man but he lived and breathed football. We used to talk every day and I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I’ll no longer be able to pick up the phone and speak to him again.
“Bob started a way of life at this club and we are determined to carry on doing things the way he would have wanted.”
A dinner organised to mark his 25 years in charge and featuring over 150 guests and big football names like Nigel Clough had been planned for next Thursday.
Faulkner had a hands off approach to to management, often letting his coaches occupy the technical area while he maintained an intense and watchful eye from the dug out.
He was also seen as a father figure by his players, never standing in the way of ambition but also supportive too.
“In the 15 years I knew him I don’t think he ever released a player without finding them another club to go to.
“The senior players especially are devastated by his death as it all came so quickly. It will be tough for them to raise their game for Saturday,” said Collins.
Faulkner took the Moors to promotion in 1988 and 2000 before they moved into the Conference North, the second tier of non-league English football. Following the merger with Solihull Borough AFC the new Solihull Moors took up home at Borough’s Damson Park ground. He saw his last game there, a 1-1 draw against Nuneaton, on December 11.
Bob Faulkner, who lived in Hollywood, leaves his wife Margaret, sons Craig and Marc and several grandchildren.
l Solihull Moors play Corby Town this Saturday, February 12, kick off 3pm. All welcome.