Yesterday I had the great honour of attending the funeral of genuinely one of the nicest men you could hope to meet in John Rayner, one of life’s good guys, who was taken from this world far too early at only 58 years young. St Michael’s Church in the market place in Macclesfield, was packed with mourners including a number of members of the current Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) board in Steve Mundy (Chairman), David Woolliscroft (Honorary secretary) and SST board member Jon Smart as those who knew this truly lovely guy paid homage, as John was finally laid to rest this afternoon.
I had the pleasure of knowing John for many years, but this had been primarily when our paths had crossed when following our beloved Silkmen home and away, and in relation to issues relating to our involvement as SST board members (where we both served as Chairman), particularly during the early years of the SST. John had always made me feel truly humbled by his warm, friendly, calm and dignified approach where his ability to communicate effectively from individuals across all walks of life; whether they may be senior officials within the football club to rank and file supporters made him such a fantastic chairman during his tenure within that role.
What was so wonderful to hear at the funeral today was that these qualities extended to all aspects of his life. John was a good husband, father and grandfather; a good work colleague, neighbour and friend; and one who alongside his lovely wife Andrea, then did good for society as a whole in the invaluable role that they played as foster carers. In death as in life, John made me feel so humble because it reinforced what I already knew from my relatively one dimensional relationship with John that he was one of life’s good guys and that he epitomised the saying ‘only the good die young.’
I can only imagine the pain and hurt of Andrea and John’s lovely family at this very difficult time, but what I can say is that I hope if they read this; that they can take comfort in knowing that I can honestly say that it was a privilege to have known John who epitomised the word GENTLEMAN and that he will NEVER be forgotten by all those who had the good fortune to have known him.
God bless John and Rest In Peace good friend!