BASINGSTOKE Town Football Club will pay tribute to a fan who suddenly died last month, with a round of applause before their next match.

Wayne 'the Watch' Beale, an instantly recognisable face among 'Stoke fans, who notably brought a stopwatch to games, to share how much time has passed, suddenly died in January.

The football club has announced that he will be honoured with a minute's round of applause before kick-off at their next home fixture against Plymouth Parkway.

The match will take place on Saturday, February 24, at the Winklebury Sports Complex, kicking off at 3pm. 'Stoke currently sit 11th in the Southern League Premier South division, after a successful spell in recent times, winning four of their last five matches.

Tributes to Wayne poured in on social media, including from 'Stoke chairman, Jack Miller, who said on X: "RIP much loved Basingstoke Town fan Wayne ‘the Watch’ Beale"

Basingstoke Gazette: Wayne 'the Watch' BealeWayne 'the Watch' Beale (Image: Basingstoke Town Football Club)

On Facebook, one 'Stoke fan said: "Legend. Top Bloke."

Another commented: "Sadly gone but never forgotten."

A statement released on the club's website reads: "The club were saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Basingstoke Town fan Wayne ‘the Watch’ Beale last month.

"Wayne was well known behind the goal, supporting the club for many years and was given his nickname ‘Wayne the Watch’ due to his affinity with his stopwatch that he used to share how long of a game had passed, with fellow fans.

"Wayne will sadly be missed by the club and those who knew him, always sharing his love for sport in general.

"There will be a minute’s applause for Wayne before Saturday’s home match with Plymouth Parkway – a game where we have invited some of Wayne’s closest family to join us as we pay tribute to him.

"The family would like to advise that Wayne’s funeral will be held on Monday, March 4, which will start from The Camrose car park at 3.30pm and heading to Basingstoke Crematorium (RG25 2BA) for 4.15pm. Wayne’s wake will be held at Basingstoke Labour Club, South Ham.

"RIP Wayne."