TRIBUTES have been paid to a stalwart of junior football.

Margaret Sewell, who was secretary of the Clwyd Junior League since its formation more than 25 years ago, died at Glan Clwyd Hospital yesterday morning after a short illness.

Mrs Sewell, 72, who lived in Bagillt, was said to have made a huge contribution to youth football in her volunteer role, helping tens of thousands of youngsters to play the game.

League treasurer Maureen Jones, who worked with Mrs Sewell for a number of years, said: “I don’t think she will be properly replaced.

“She knew everything about football. She was respected right down to the Football Association of Wales in Cardiff.”

Mrs Sewell, a former pupil of Holywell Grammar School, lost her husband, Colin, a number of years ago.

She is survived by her children, David, Jane and Joanne.

Gary Owen, president of the league, said: “Margaret was a lady who gave some 25 years of her life to support the league without true recognition for all the endless jobs she would do. She was the Clwyd Junior League.

“Over 25 years I have applauded her as our unsung hero and hope every person can spare a moment to remember all she did and recognise her devoted service.

“She worked tirelessly and everyone who has been involved with football at all levels will have a story to tell of how Margaret has helped them.”

Howard Roberts, vice-president of the league, said: “During her time she would have registered players like Gary Speed and Michael Owen.

“She would organise all the cup finals, all the registration. It was a massive job.

“She did the job quietly and she treated everybody the same.

“She was really hard-working and very well-liked. She was keen to give kids the chance to play football.”

Mrs Sewell was also secretary of Bagillt Hotspur before the club disbanded five years ago.

Mark Goldsmith, chairman of the Clwyd League, said: “It is a great loss to football, especially for youngsters.

“She was passionate about football in the area.”