IT’S been a year since my father Derek Nuttall passed away.

My dad was always a hoarder, and over the past few months, along with all the family photos and personal possessions, we have had to sort through thousands of books, documents, pictures, programmes and souvenirs to do with the Vics.

We knew his devotion to the club was complete and were moved by the response of supporters, players, managers and the non-league community to his sudden death at 89, and by the big attendance at the funeral, where green-and-white scarves and favours were much in evidence and there were many footballing anecdotes recalled.

But it was only going through what he had left behind that made us realise how many hopes and dreams he had for the club and how hard he had worked, along with many others, to keep it going over the years.

My dad was a draughtsman by trade and we found the detailed plans he had made for structures like the main stand at the Drill Field, the Danebank Stand and the Victoria Stadium. There were smaller projects he imagined - for a social club and even a museum to celebrate the history of Vics’ and the Drill Field.

And then there were the reams of team sheets, FA reports, board meeting minutes and the mountains of paperwork he had carefully filed away over the years, along with boxes of diaries recalling events at the club in his time as a director, chairman, president and secretary, and stacks of programmes from Vics’ and clubs all over the land.

Some of the things we found - team photos, plaques, pennants, newspaper cuttings - were clearly precious memories of major moments in the history of the club and the town that he had rescued from the boardroom before the Victoria Stadium was lost to the bulldozers.

And there is the tragedy. So much of what he dreamed of on and offthe- pitch was achieved and built, only to be destroyed. He saw the loss of the Vics’ ground, the fracturing of the fanbase, the scattering of the team to play in Staffordshire and Greater Manchester, the descent into the lower leagues and the inevitable financial crises.

What I would liked him to have seen is the spirit of the supporters that have saved and resurrected Northwich Vics’ as a fan-owned club and have rallied round to establish it at Barnton this season, hopefully giving the Trickies a sustainable future and a base to build on.

Perhaps one day, we will once again have somewhere to hang the team photos of Cheshire League and Conference North winners and FA Cup giantkillers and show off the trophies and medals won down the ages.

But my dad’s priorities were always to keep the club itself going and to try to have a good team at whatever level to keep the fans coming and give the town something to be proud of.

That is being achieved and he would be so pleased that the club has survived and the team continues to carry our hopes and dreams every Saturday.

On his behalf, I would like to say thank you to the supporters.

Chris Nuttall, president, Northwich Victoria FC