A FOOTBALL club has paid tributes to two former players who have died.

Epping Town Football Club has remembered John Tama and Sam Wilkinson, with Sam passing away just before Christmas.

Dan Sly, club chairman spoke of the club’s devastation when hearing the lives of the two young men had been taken so soon.

He said: "Both were a credit to the club on and off the football field with Sam a part of our cup success in the Denny King Cup a good few season ago.

“Sam's family are still very much part of the club and come to support the club regularly with Tracey, Sam’s dad, a former coach and assistant anager at the club.”

Ian Corner, former Epping Town manager spoke of John’s love for being with his team mates who also became his friends.

He added: “John was a young lad who joined us travelling up from the East End of London. He was a smashing lad who I don’t ever remember not smiling and laughing about something. 

“He was a pleasure to be around. May he RIP.

“He was strong and powerful and had a fantastic shot on him. Defenders never knew what he was going to do but neither did he such was the way he played instinctively and for sheer enjoyment. “

Sam first played for the club at 17 years old and scored in early games with great strikes that took the coaching staff and fans alike by surprise.

Ian said: “Sam was the son of Tracey, my assistant manager, and like his dad was loyal, hard working and had a set of values that would be an example to anyone. 

“He worked his socks off in a variety of positions and never let us down. 

“He was a strong part of the squad in my final year and I remember well celebrating in the pouring rain at White Notley when we won the Denny King Cup.”

The club will hold a minute’s applause for John and Sam during the Denny King Memorial Cup tie against Chingford Athletic kicking off at 1.30pm at Epping Upper Clapton Rugby Club.