Colin Rowell
Colin Rowell

An avid football fan has left amateur club Bishop Auckland FC more than £300,000 in his will.

Colin Rowell, who died in January 2015 aged 79, has no surviving family members and left the bulk of his estate to his favourite club, which he had supported for over seven decades.

The cash will help secure the future of the County Durham club, which has pledged to name a section of its Heritage Park ground after Rowell, whose ashes will be scattered on the pitch.

"Colin loved sport of all kinds, but football, in particular," said Karen Eyre, the executor of Mr Rowell's will.

"Shortly before he died, he said to me that his dream would be to have his ashes scattered on the penalty spot at the new ground. He would have been delighted to know that's what is going to happen."

'Unprecedented' generosity

"Although we have received one or two bequests before, we've had nothing like this - Colin's generosity is unprecedented," said club chairman Richard Tremewan. "It's a stunning amount of money and one that will make a huge difference to the club."

Solicitor Darren Brown said: "Colin never married and he had no children so it was, perhaps, the natural thing for him to leave it to the football club that had given him so much pleasure over the years.

"After he died we found a drawer full of newspaper clippings about Bishop Auckland FC and the team's new ground at Heritage Park. Clearly, he followed them until the end."