Tributes paid to top goal scorer

A FOOTBALL legend from Bradford on Avon who was once Arsenal’s top goalscorer has died at the age of 80.

Alan Skirton who was born in Bath had a long and successful football career where he also played for Bath City, Blackpool, Bristol City, Durban City, Toquay United and Weymouth Town.

Mr Skirton had a long battle with Alzheimer’s before he died on May 11. His family have now paid tribute to “a true gentleman”.

The family tribute reads: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our deeply beloved Alan.

“He was a huge personality that touched so many and he will be sorely missed by his wife Jane, sons Andrew, Paul and Simon and daughter Debbie. He meant so much to his brothers Mick,Colin and Gordon and their families , his grandchildren and their families and his great grandchild Tobias who was recently welcomed into the Skirton family.

“As well as his family his true love was Arsenal Football Club, for whom he was so proud to represent in over 150 games scoring in excess of 50 goals.

“In the 1961/62 season was Arsenal’s top scorer with 19 Division 1 goals in 38 appearances. He holds the admirable distinction for being the first Arsenal player to score a European goal at Highbury and quirkily in 1965 was the first Arsenal substitute to be called upon in a competitive fixture.

“To be referred to as an “Arsenal legend “ and member of their prestigious 100 club gave him immense pride, as did his nickname, ‘The Highbury Express’.

“We will all miss him terribly but are so relieved that he is at peace and without further pain and suffering.

“For all his wonderful achievements he will be remembered most fondly by those who knew him as a true gentleman.

“Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly for those wishing to pay their respects.”

An Arsenal FC spokesman said: “Alan will be remembered as a true gentleman and we will all miss him.”

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