FORMER Airbus stalwart Phil Bailey has sadly died at the age of 58 following a stroke.

Phil was secretary of the club for eight years before leaving in September 2012 and played a key role in the club's development in the Welsh Premier League.

Born in Peterborough, he spent time in the Armed Forces in the Army Catering Corps, based in Aldershot before working as a chef at the Toby Carvery in Mickle Trafford and also spent 13 years working for Royal Mail.

An avid football fan and programme collector, Phil would travel the length and breadth of the UK in search of obscure games to watch of a weekend when not watching Chester or Airbus - and he always picked up a matchday programme wherever he went.

"We are all very sad to hear the tragic news that Phil has passed away," says Airbus general manager Jonathan Williams.

"Phil played a huge part in football across Wales and the North West and will be deeply missed by many football clubs and fans alike.

"Phil supported us in his role as secretary for many years and we would like to express our sincere condolences to Michelle, Luke and Kelly."

Club chairman Mick Mayfield says: “Phil was brilliant for us, he got involved with us and really threw himself into it. He was such a character and was a big bloke with a big personality and an even bigger heart.

“He was so popular within the Welsh Premier League and he was never afraid of speaking his mind whenever something needed saying.

“He brought other people into the club to help and volunteer and those people are still with us today and are critical to us today. Without Phil bringing them in then things may have been different.

“Phil was an excellent secretary and did so much good work for us, but more importantly he was my mate and I will miss him greatly.”

Club partners