Fri 22 Sep 2023 - 10:18AM
RIP John 'Donkey' Bayliss
All at Tamworth FC are saddened to hear of the passing of club legend John 'Donkey' Bayliss earlier this morning. John is an integral part of our history - as a record goalscorer and part of the team that rescued the modern day club.
John joined the club from Bromsgrove Rovers in 1961 and went on to make 207 appearances, breaking goal scoring records hitting the back of the net no less than 173 times across 7 seasons.
It was John’s love for the club that was one of the reasons why we have a club that we can support today. John was the main instigator of three local businessmen taking over the running of the club in June 1984. It all began with a phone call from John to Bob Andrews and Dave Baxter and invited them both down to ‘The Fox’ pub at Hopwas where he was Landlord for a meeting to talk about the football club and its problems. He asked if they would be interested in taking over the club. The Lambs were in a mess both on and off the field after relegation, and with low crowds and major debts it was on the brink of being closed down. So, the three had a very open discussion and Dave and Bob decided to join John and take over the club. It was thanks to John instigating this meeting that we have our club today and we will be eternally grateful to him, Bob and Dave for this. John was chairman at the time of one of Tamworth’s greatest achievements - winning the FA Vase.
Speaking about the news, Chairman Bob Andrews expressed his sadness about a man he has known over 50 years through work and football. “John was a lovely man who I knew very well from my time playing for Tamworth and Dosthill Rovers. We used to meet at the Fox pub and from one of these meetings with Dave Baxter we decided to take over the football club in 1984. John loved his sport and we really got on well together. He is a friend who I am going to miss. It is a very sad day for us.”
We send our love and prayers to John’s family and we will remember him at our next home game against Darlington on 7 October.