The popular Stockton - who was instrumental in establishing the supporter-run club in 2012 and has been a driving force at 1874 ever since - sadly passed away aged 67 on Friday morning after a brave battle against cancer.
The NWCFL Premier Division club's officials paid tribute to their late chairman, pictured, in a statement announcing his passing as clubs from across Non-League sent their condolences on social media.
The club said: "It is with an enormous amount of sadness, that we have to advise that Paul sadly passed away earlier today, after a very brave fight against cancer. Our chairman was extremely well respected, having much contact with our League, the FA, officials of other football clubs along with many groups and individuals.
"He set exceptionally high standards, ensuring that 1874 Northwich is well run, for its members and supporters. He was extremely proud of his beloved club and everyone involved with it, and was happiest when he could settle down to watch his team play.
"The club is in contact with Paul’s family and will advise of arrangements in due course. The thoughts of everyone at 1874 go to his wife Cyn and sons Christopher and Richard and their families at this most difficult and sad time."
Mr Stockton's passing comes after he struck a deal over Christmas with Witton Albion to host Pontefract Collieries in the fourth round of the Buildbase FA Vase at Wincham Park on Sunday 7 January. The successful talks to play at the EVO-STIK League Premier Division club's home for the first time had been taking place for the last fortnight.
Before his death, the 1874 chairman told the Northwich Guardian: “We’re really pleased to have been able to set up what is a mutually-beneficial arrangement with Witton. We’d like to thank Mark [Harris, Witton Albion chairman] and his board for the professional and business-like matter in which they’ve approached reaching an agreement.”
Image courtesy of northwichguardian.co.uk
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