TEARS welled in the eyes of Dick Mattick as he spoke of his pride in securing the money to restore the grave of Swindon Town’s longest-serving manager, Sam Allen.
Yesterday, Dick presented Royal Wootton Bassett funeral directors Johnson & Daltrey with a cheque for £1,400. With the £1,100 already donated by the company, the £2,500 restoration works will begin in earnest, with an August rededication service the aim.
Dick, with the help of local historian Jim Turner, who rediscovered Sam’s grave in Radnor Street Cemetery last summer, has worked tirelessly to have the stonework restored.
“It’s very pleasing to be able to do this,” he said. “A lot of credit should go to Jim Turner, he’s a very self-effacing guy. He’s the one that’s really motivated me to do it.
“I am just pleased and quite looking forward to going to do a rededication ceremony, and I will have a chance then to pay tribute to Sam Allen.”
Sam served Town for 51 years as secretary and manager and received the Football League’s long service award in 1941, as he kept the club alive during the Second World War.
Johnson & Daltrey will attempt to use as much of the original grave as possible in bringing it up to a modern standard.
The restored monument will also include a QR code, a barcode which will allow smartphone users to scan and access information on Sam Allen when they see his grave in the cemetery.