Orient pay tribute to programme seller

Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road (pic: Ian Walton).

Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road (pic: Ian Walton). - Credit: Getty Images

John Smith, who sold programmes for the Brisbane Road club for a number of years, has passed away

Leyton Orient have released a statement following the death of programme seller John Smith this week, who served the club loyally.

A statement on the official club website read: “Leyton Orient were saddened to learn that John Smith, who served the club loyally and staunchly as a programme seller, has sadly passed away.

“Highly-respected, he was a well-known face to many Orient supporters on a matchday. John missed only a handful of matches over a period spanning more than 35 years and his dedicated service to the club was unquestionable.

“As a childhood O’s fan from Chingford, John first began selling programmes in the 1980’s with his son Paul, standing on the corner of Brisbane Road and Coronation Gardens, a spot he occupied for many years and in all weathers.

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“He eventually made it a family affair by introducing his grandchildren Ryan and Nicola as additional sellers to help him and Paul cope with the demand.”

Smith’s funeral will take place at St Peter and Paul Church, The Green, Chingford E4 7EN on Tuesday June 23 at 1pm, from there it will be going on to Chingford Mount Cemetery.

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Orient have confirmed the wake will be held at Brisbane Road in The Gallery from around 3.15pm, and any fans wishing to celebrate the life of John are more than welcome to attend.

There will be an O’s theme to the funeral, so people who are in attendance have been asked to wear something red and white if possible.

Flowers are greatly appreciated, however, donations to Macmillan Cancer Support will be accepted.

The statement from the Brisbane Road outfit also added: “The club would like to pass on their deepest condolences to the Smith family and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”

O’s Dean Cox took to Twitter to pay tribute to Smith, he said: “RIP John Smith, always remember walking past you selling programmes on a match day, thoughts to all your family at this time.”

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