A LIFETIME supporter of Manchester United and Hereford Football Club and long-time volunteer for Hereford, Alan Leslie James has died at the age of 77.

Mr James was born at home, in a cottage in Kings Acre Road, alongside the railway line where his father worked.

His working life began while he was still at school and took on small jobs to help support his mother and three sisters following the death of his father.


He met his wife Kaye on a Pennworld trip to Greece and, when she, a nurse and midwife retired at 55, Mr James opted to retire just five days later.

The couple then bought a motorhome and travelled the world, visiting more than 150 football clubs along the way.

"Alan could persuade people to help him with anything," said Mrs James, "including meeting national teams, chatting with the Prime Minister of Slovenia and meeting Emperor Akihito in India.

"He had football running through him like a stick of rock," she added.

He was also, she said "kind to everyone and fiercely protective of those he loved."

While living in North Wales, Mr James worked for a printers, which was subsequently taken over by the Maxwell organisation.

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He set up Neighbourhood Watch in Rhuddlan, where he worked closely with the police and was very proud of the awards he received for this work.

Following their years of travelling, the couple returned to Hereford, moving to the Rose Garden in 2018 – "the best thing we did," said Mrs James.


Mr James died peacefully at home with his wife at his side, "a happy release from the cruel ravages of Alzheimer's disease. Despite all that Alzheimer's took from him he remained a gentle man to the end," said Mrs James.

Mr James is survived by his wife, his sister Molly and nephews and nieces, and his godson Edward and his family.

A private, unattended, cremation took place on Thursday (February 9) in Hereford. The family asked that everyone remembered Alan personally with thoughts of happy times with him.