DORCHESTER Town have announced the passing of club legend Eddie Belt, aged in his late 70s.

Deeply connected to the Magpies, Belt made his Dorchester debut at 15 and went on to hold the positions of chairman, manager, assistant-manager, facilities director and club ambassador.

Taking the chairman’s reins for 11 years from 1995, Belt later returned to the club’s board before suffering a stroke in 2014; he was club ambassador ever since.

In a touching tribute to Belt, Dorchester vice-chairman Dave Martin, who worked alongside Belt, spoke of the Magpies’ legend’s loyalty.

He told Dorchester’s official website: "Eddie was one of those people who had the unique achievement of representing the club as a player, coach and chairman, and as chairman he led the club to much success.

“Since World War Two there have only been three chairmen who have served over 10 years: Victor Marsden, Peter Aiken and Eddie, each serving 11 years.

"The one characteristic I will remember of Eddie was his loyalty.

“Having appointed Mark Morris as player-manager, he was very supportive of Mark during a shaky start to the season.

“Eddie, however, was unwavering in his support and Mark would eventually lead us to a League Cup win in 2001/2 and the league title in 2003/04.

"He loved his burgers and if we ever drove to a match, he would always know where to stop for the best cup of tea and the best burger."

Adding to their tribute, the Magpies said: “Eddie was someone to whom the term "Mr Dorchester" would barely suffice. 

“A warm, kind man, who made time for everyone and gave so much to this club.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are now with Eddie's family and friends at this time.”