Tributes paid to popular and dedicated Sunderland AFC fan who has died aged 59
Tributes have been paid to a dedicated and passionate Sunderland fan who has died.
Fred Taylor, often known as Freddie, passed away suddenly on Friday, July 26, aged 59.
A famous face to many Black Cat supporters both at home and away, Fred, who lived in Boldon Colliery, was very proud to be the chairman of the SAFC Branch Liason Council for more than three decades.
His passion and dedication to the club saw Fred, along with the late Keith Charlton, create the SAFC Boldon Branch in 1995.
Fred - who was married to Alison, father to Jessica and grandfather to Mia and Orson – first attended Sunderland matches at Roker Park and has been a dedicated supporter over the years
Joanne Youngson, who has known Freddie for more than 20 years, said: “He lived and breathed Sunderland AFC. He was the chairman of the Branch Liason Council for over 30 years playing a major role and then two years ago he was made the Honorary President of the committee.
“Freddie and Keith Charlton, who we sadly lost last year, formed the Boldon Branch in 1995. Since then they had transported thousands of fans to and from games this evening.
“He was a famous face in the North Stand and had the same spot for years – it was often a meeting spot at half time.
“We’ve had tributes pouring in from all over the world. He was a massive fan and everyone knows him.
“He was so looking forward to the start of the season.”
Fred worked in the control room of Westoe Colliery before it closed in 1993.
Joanne, 42, met Fred when she was just 17 and says he was ‘like a second dad to her’.
“He was very kind-hearted, there wasn’t a bad bone in his body,” added Joanne, who is a committee member of the Boldon Branch.
“Freddie loved Sunderland and he would always have a rant. He would rant constantly no matter what you were talking about it would eventually come back to Sunderland.
“He was a really wonderful fella.”
Tributes have been paid on social media by former Sunderland players and supporters.
Darren Williams, a former SAFC player, tweeted: “RIP Fred thank you for been a loyal fan over the years, thoughts are with Fred's family right now.”
Chris Waters, head of supporter engagement and supporter liaison officer at SAFC, tweeted: “Fred was chairman of the Boldon Branch and also chairman of the Branch Liaison Council for many years. Most of all a huge SAFC fan, a North Stand regular and became a great friend. We will all miss you Fred. My thoughts are with his family and all his friends at this time.”
Nick Barnes, SAFC commentator, tweeted: “Very sad news .... I’m sure many know Fred. Many condolences to his family.”