South East Wales

Frank Carson death: Newport County on how comic's laughter lifted club

Frank Carson meets the Queen at a Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool
Image caption Frank Carson meeting the Queen at a Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool

Newport County Football Club stalwarts have paid their own tributes to the comedian Frank Carson, who has died at the age of 85.

He became a club director and vice-president in the 1970s and 80s, turning up to cheer on the team at their old Somerton Park ground.

Former club chairman David Hando said he would lift spirits with his "infectious laugh".

The comic died at home in Blackpool, Lancashire, after battling cancer.

"He transformed the place when he arrived - there was a buzz and he had everyone in stitches," recalled the former club chairman.

"People just cheered up immediately."

Mr Hando said Carson took on a nominal role of director and vice-president in a bid to boost the public profile of the club.

He said the comic even tried to recruit the veteran Liverpool comedian Tom O'Connor onto the Newport County board.

And whatever the team's performance on the pitch, Mr Hando said Carson could be relied on to cheer up the supporters.

"Often at County games we could be a bit depressed, you know. But he would raise the spirits," he added.

"They would hear him before they'd see him - it was his infectious laugh."

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