Swindon Town manager Sam Allen grave appeal hits target

Sam Allen Image copyright Swindon Town Football Club
Image caption Sam Allen remains one of the longest-serving managers in English football history

Work to restore the grave of Swindon Town's first manager can begin after a successful fundraising appeal.

Sam Allen was manager from 1902 to 1933 - one of the longest-serving English football managers ever - and the club secretary until he died in 1946.

His grave at Radnor Street Cemetery has fallen into a poor state and a group of supporters want to restore it in time for a club anniversary later this year.

More than £1,400 has been raised since an appeal was launched last month.

Image caption Dick Mattick said he hoped the grave restoration would be complete by the end of July

Club historian Dick Mattick said parts of the grave would now be removed and taken away to be cleaned, have the cracks removed and new lettering added.

The work is expected to take up to 16 weeks but be finished in time for an anniversary marking 100 years since the club won the Southern League in 1914.

Mr Mattick also revealed enough money had been raised for a second project, to create a plaque commemorating the club players who died during WW1.

"There was a plaque on the old stand but it disappeared when the stand was demolished," said Mr Mattick, who hopes the new memorial will be in place before the start of next season.

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