A Skegby dad who refereed and ran the line at more than 1,000 games has died following a ten-year battle with cancer.
The proud family of Andrew Nuttall, of Pavilion Gardens, Skegby, have paid tribute to his life and time as top flight linesman, after he passed away aged 73, from prostate cancer.
Starting in his football role as a teenager, where Mr Nuttall was paid 25p a game, he became a linesman in the Football League.
In total he refereed 921 games and ran the line at 415 matches.
Mr Nuttall who was a plumber by trade, also kept a record of the matches in a little red book which included Forest v Charlton in 1989.
Elizabeth, aged 71, his wife of almost 50 years said: "We went all over for football - we even went to Sweden.
"He always said if he hadn't been a plumber he would would have become a referee in the football league, at that time they all had to be teachers or police men.
"It doesn't work like that these days but it did then.
"He refereed central leagues and local leagues - he thoroughly enjoyed it and kept in touch even when he finished."
She also said then when he retired from his football role in 1992, Brian Clough, former Forest manager, sent Mrs Nuttall an engraved vase.
In retirement from football and his plumbing career the couple, who met at the Palais in Mansfield, enjoyed walking their daughter's dog Lily and going on cruises - even travelling to the Caribbean.
In 2012 the couple lost their eldest daughter Helen.
However, when he was 63, Mr Nuttall was diagnosed with cancer.
Mrs Nuttall said: "He had an very aggressive cancer and he had a full prostatectomy and an awful lot of work to his bladder.
"The surgeon said then that he hadn't been able to get all the cells - this was in September and he was convinced he would be dead by Christmas."
But, years later Mrs Nuttall said "no one would have believed what he was living with".
She added: "No one would have known, he was always such a positive person, even right up to last summer when he started to get poorly.
"He has given a lot of hope to a lot of men in a similar condition to him at a support group.
"Even when he was in the hospice he was going to come out, he was very positive.
"Everyone loved him in there, he always had a smile on his face and a joke."
A memorial service was held for Mr Nuttall at St Peter & St Paul's Church, Warsop, followed by a cremation at Mansfield Crematorium.
His daughter Kathryn Nuttall-Oxby, aged 42, who works at King's Mill Hospital, wrote a poem about her father to be read out at the funeral titled 'My Hero'
Here is the poem:
There are not enough words I can say to describe just how important you Dad, are to me and what a powerful influence you will always be.
You taught me so much, to ride a bike, to paint and decorate, to put gas fires in and clean Trianco boilers out....to have no fear, always have fun and face the day with cheer!
You led me and ensured I understood that life can be hard and tough sometimes, but on the whole its pretty good!
I look at your smiling face in all our photos
Memories flood my mind as I touch the momentos
Funny stories from over the years, now bring laughter mixed with tears
So many happy times we have had, you and me dad.
Your humility and strength ensured hope remained as your battle with cancer began and you became; a true man of men.
You had so much to live for, so much yet to do,
For mum, life was never boring and off around the world you went exploring.
You walked miles, up hill and down dale, often accompanied by Lily and her little waggy tail.
The fight wore on, everyday your determination never wavered. Even when your soul was weary and your bones ached for a rest, your courage, motivation and the love we shared endured this difficult test.
Slowly brought down, your suffering started to show, how much more you could take we did not know.
With breaking hearts, Mum and I did our duty, privileged and honoured to be tending to this man of beauty. We held your hands day and night until you could no more fight.
Silently the Angels came and joined us by your bedside, either side of the bravest, kindest man we know and carried you to the skies of heaven, where pain does not exist.....and I whispered, go dad, be at rest.
So for now I'll treasure the times we shared and laughs we had, yes today, I am full of sorrow, but I will smile a little more with each tomorrow.
An amazing man, you left this world with dignity and grace, in my heart you will forever hold a huge place.
You were and will always be, my Dad, my Hero.
Mr Nuttall died at John Eastwood Hospice, Sutton, on March 17.