Tributes have been paid to a fan and volunteer of a Dorset football club of more than 30 years, described as an 'absolute gem'.

Douglas Brian Brewer, formerly in the Royal Artillery, died in hospital on October 20, aged 84 after a short illness.

Mr Brewer volunteered at Wimborne Town Football Club selling programmes for more than 30 years, and his ashes will be spread at the club’s new ground, New Cuthbury.

Club president, Ken Stewart, said: “He has lived a very active life, he was part of the St John’s Ambulance and in the Royal Artillery for 24 years, he travelled all over the world.

“And he loved Wimborne Town Football Club, he had been here more than 30 years, he was a great helper, a great supporter and in the latter years our programme seller.

“He welcomed everybody, sold programmes and then took his seat outside the director’s box and voiced his opinion on the game. I am sure he was a referee because he never got a decision wrong.”

Mr Brewer’s funeral was on November 9, and the hearse travelled to the football club so members of the club could pay their respects.

Mr Stewart said, despite coronavirus restrictions, the funeral was a “wonderful celebration” of Mr Brewer’s life.

He continued: “It is only when you get to go to a funeral like that when you realise what a person has done in their lifetime.

“He was a kind and considerate man and if more people were like him it would be a good thing.

“The hearse came up to Wimborne Town FC and people paid their tributes.

“When we have our first home game, we will hold a minute’s silence for him.

“His ashes will be sprinkled in the ground, that is his wish, and we are pleased to accommodate.”

Mr Brewer had four siblings, one older sister Lynn, and younger sisters Myra, Owen and Gill.

Paying tribute, Mr Brewer's sister, Gill Arnold, 71, spoke about her brother's volunteering for the St John's Ambulance as well as Streetwise where he helped children learn to to safely deal with real-life situations.

She said: "Brian became an enthusiastic member of Wimborne Town football supporters club, being member number 74.

"In latter years, he sold programmes at the home matches. He would arrive at 11am, have a coffee, ask for his float at 12pm, in readiness to sell programmes at 2.30pm, meticulously on time.

"He used to ring me to tell me the score each week. Although his health deteriorated in his latter years, he was determined to keep up with his beloved Wimborne Town Football club.

"Although Brian was not always articulate, which sometimes held him back in his army career, he was always conscientious, and wanted to do the job to the best of his ability in any role he was given.

"He could be bolshie and argumentative, but he had a kind and generous heart.

"To me and all of my siblings, he was always our big brother."