AN amateur football club has paid tribute to a stalwart of its golden days.

Bishop Auckland FC this week announced the death of ex-captain Tommy Farrer, who has died at the age of 94.

The club described him as one their greatest ever players and will hold a minute’s silence at their next home game, against Heaton Stannington on Wednesday night.

But that won’t be the first time club officials and fans fall silent to remember his contribution to the club.

Back in 2009 the club wrote of his demise in a match-day programme and held a minute’s silence in the mistaken belief he had already passed away.

Officials only realised their error when the club chairman rang Mr Farrer’s wife to pass on his condolences to be told he was alive and well and had just popped to the shop for a paper.

The couple, then living in Maidstone, Kent, had just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

Mr Farrer was a southerner who was based at Barnard Castle serving in the Armed Forces during World War 2.

He married a local girl Gladys and lived in Princess Street in the town where his daughter was born.

He played for Bishop Auckland in the years after the war and went on to win 20 caps for England at amateur level.

He famously skippered the Bishop Auckland team which took on a barefoot Nigerian X1 at the town’s Kingsway ground in 1949.

A club spokesman said: “He played for the Bishops from 1945 to 1953 and was hailed as one of the club’s greatest players.

“During his time with his former club, he won eight amateur international caps.

“Tom played for numerous non league clubs in the south of England, and also represented Great Britain at the Summer Olympics in 1956.

“Everyone at Bishop Auckland FC would like to extend their condolences to Tom’s family.”

After leaving Bishop Auckland FC, Mr Farrer joined Walthamstow, now known as Dagenham and Redbridge, before retiring from football and he worked as a clothing designer.

Keith Belton, chairman of Durham Amateur Football Trust, said: “He had played in the Forces and I was just a lad but remember him playing for Bishop, as captain in the 1950 cup final against Willington at Wembley.

“His is one of those names that lives on at the club, he was a stalwart in the 40s and 50s, a talented player and one of life’s gentlemen, a professional man.

"He was a great player, a nice man, he was very well known and respected throughout the game and though he lived to a good old age it is a sad day.”