MORE than 100 people attended a special gathering to pay their respects to a popular football scout.

John Riordan, of Summerhill, was well known across North Wales, Cheshire and the Wirral as a youth football talent scout.

Mr Riordan was originally from Kerry, Ireland, and his funeral is due to be held there today.

Last Friday dozens of football players, friends and associates of Mr Riordan gathered at Wrexham FC’s training ground at Colliers Park, Gresford, to honour his memory.

Cledwin Ashford, a former coach who worked with Mr Riordan, organised the event with Wrexham FC’s Brian Carey.

Mr Ashford said: “As there wasn’t a funeral in North Wales as such we thought it only right to do something in memory of John.

“He did so much for Wrexham Football club and this was a great tribute to him, I think it was very fitting.”

Representatives from clubs including Chester, Manchester City, Liverpool, Shrewsbury, Everton, Aston Villa and Stoke paid their respects as did Malcolm Elias, head of talent and recruitment at Fulham.

Mr Riordan’s family, including his niece, sister and her husband, planted a hollybush in his memory.

Steve Cooper, who worked with Mr Riordan for many years, said: “John would have been proud to see so many people, particularly from different football clubs he worked at. A lot of players turned up and there was a genuine appreciation of John.”

Among Mr Riordan’s discoveries were Ryan Crump, Jordan Williams, Nathan Broadhurst and Tom Roberts.

Brian Carey called Mr Riordan “one of the unsung heroes of the game”.