The man who first rescued Northampton Town football club from administration 23 years ago, Brian Lomax, has died.
The news was announced this morning by the club on social media, who paid tribute to the ‘pioneer figure’ who founded the Cobblers’ Supporters Trust – the first ever. Mr Lomax, a supporter of Northampton Town ‘for many years’, passed away following a four-month-long battle with lung cancer.
Paying tribute to the Cobblers’ saviour, the club said in a statement: “Northampton Town Football Club are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Brian Lomax. Brian was a supporter of the Cobblers for many years, and was one of those responsible for setting up the club’s Supporters Trust, the first such organisation anywhere in the country.
“He played a huge role in helping the Cobblers through a difficult financial period following administration in the early 1990s and served as a Director of Northampton Town Football Club for many years in they years that followed, being an elected representative of the Trust on the club’s board.
“Beyond the County Ground and Sixfields he was a pioneer figure in the supporters direct movement and the Northampton Town Supporters Trust became a template for many other clubs up and down the country.
“Brian will be sadly missed at Sixfields and the thoughts of everyone at Northampton Town are with Brian’s family and friends at this sad time.”
Mr Lomax first founded Northampton Town Supporters’ Trust in January 1992, after taking his nine-year old daughter Emily to see the club. Emily was ‘immediately hooked’ at first sight, and for the next eight years she would make sure her dad took her to as many home and away games as possible.
But when the club fell into administration in 1992 at the hands of chairman Michael McRitchie, Lomax – inspired into activism – stepped forward to help save the club by setting up a supporters’ trust – the first ever. Northampton Town was saved, and the trust was given two democratically elected members on the board – of which Lomax was one – in exchange for the money raised.
Lomax, and a tiny team of case workers – Lee Shailer, Dave Boyle and Steve Warby – would go on to trudge around the country forming trusts, which in turn bailed out their clubs. Today, there are now over 170 trusts with over 300,000 members – all of which is mainly down to Lomax.
But his work didn’t stop there, because in 2000, Lomax then started supporter ownership in the UK, launching Supporters Direct as its first managing director. Thirty clubs are now owned by their supporters.
Brian Lomax (1948-2015) RIP
- Northampton Town tribute
- Supporters Direct tribute
- Profile: Brian Lomax – a supporter pioneer ahead of his time