It is with a heavy heart that we have to inform you all of the passing of a Club Legend as we all say goodbye to Tom Smart. A true gentleman, Tom was part of the Bolton County family from player to President – and he was a man that held a special place in many people’s hearts….

Tributes have been pouring in as the news sunk in — but we have to start with the great words Dave – Tom’s son – had to say about his Dad. ‘Thank you all for your messages – and what really shines through is the love and respect that everybody had for my father. It has been really comforting to both my Mum Marlene and I to read all the messages.’ Dave went on say ‘Bolton County was a massive part of my father’s life – from playing to helping create the pitches from scratch. My memories of hum seeding the pitch and digging for drains – with many of you – to playing and then being the Chairman and President of the only club he ever played for meant the world to him. We were so sad to miss the Anniversary Dinner but it came at the start of his short illness – but thank you to you all and to Bolton County for the memories’ Our reply back to you Dave is that your Dad will never, ever be forgotten…

Some of the heart-warming messages we’ve had have been so nice as well – including:

Tom was a big part of my early years at the club and someone I greatly admired and respected.  A lovely man that will be sorely missed (Dave Hough)

‘A true gentleman and visionary! He was always afforded respect in many circles – but especially within Bolton County! God bless you Tom and your family. You will be sorely missed but you have given so much… (John Conroy)

‘What a real shame. A great man and a great footballer. I’ve never seen a better header of the ball! RIP Tom (David Allen)

‘Bless. Tom was a great player, and a great man. I have many memories of how he made my poor crosses look good with his headers… (Steve Pearce)

‘It was always a pleasure to be in the same team with Tom.  He was a true friend and a great ambassador for the club. RIP Buddy (Steve Ashton)

‘Tom Smart – it was a pleasure to know, play and be part of the County family with you. You did not know the influence you very quietly had on the players around you. It moulded more of us to be better people. You were afforded respect from opposition at every ground we went to – which spoke volumes about you. Very sad day’ (Mark Ormrod)

‘Someone we massively looked up to and respected when we all graduated from County Grammar Colts all those years ago! Superstar first-team player that he was! (Steve Roby)

‘A true gentleman and probably the finest striker in Bolton County’s history. A honour to play with and know on and off the pitch. Deepest sympathies to family and friends. RIP Tom (Mike)

We could go on. However we just want to say that we send our biggest hugs to Tom’s family at this very sad time and we want you all to know that he will never, ever be forgotten…

We’ll keep doing our best for you Mr Smart…