Castleford Tigers chief executive Steve Gill says the club hope to build a tribute to chairman Jack Fulton at their new stadium following his death at the age of 83.
Mr Fulton, who suffered from motor neurone disease, founded frozen food company Fultons Foods in 1960 and became chairman at Castleford RLFC in the early 1990s.
He died just a day after plans for the £135m Five Towns Park were given final approval and the club recorded a £445,000 profit for 2014.
Steve Gill, Tigers’ chief executive, said: “Hopefully we can make a tribute to Jack when the stadium is built. Jack Fulton lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a beautiful family, possibly bigger than he dare ever imagine. He loved Castleford Tigers, he loved our fans and appreciated everyone’s efforts,
“Jack’s loss is immeasurable and we are honoured and thankful to have had Jack in our lives. He was my great friend, my shoulder, my inspiration. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in the story of Castleford Tigers.”
Paul Burns-Williamson, from the Castleford Tigers’ Supporters Club, said Mr Fulton invested a lot of his own money into the club.
He said: “Jack was a supporter of our great club, his financial support in good and bad times gave us the fans the opportunity to follow the Tigers, which Jack knew meant so much to so many people. Without Jack and the commitment of his family the very existence of the club would have been in severe danger,
“We had the great pleasure of meeting Jack in the last 10 years at our annual ‘Meet the Directors’ events. He always listened but let other directors do the talking. The one thing that we did know from the meetings was that Jack cared intensely for the club. It is very fitting that Jack got to lead the team out at Wembley last year.”
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell said will be forever grateful to Jack for his support of Castleford Tigers over the year.
He said: “I would like to pay tribute to Jack, an outstanding man who has done so much for Castleford Tigers over many years. Even when Jack was very poorly it was obvious how engaging and endearing he was as a person. He’ll be sadly missed by everyone at the club and my thoughts are with the Fulton family at this difficult time. ”
Michael Shenton, Tigers’ captain, said: “Jack was great man, and I know that everyone who knew him will be deeply saddened by his passing. Castleford Tigers wouldn’t be where it is today without him. Sticking by the club through thick and thin showed his commitment to the club he loved,
“Mine and all the players’ thoughts go out to Bridie and Jack’s family at this tough time and also our appreciation for what Jack and the rest of the Fulton family has done for myself and the club.”
Mr Fulton’s funeral details are yet to be arranged.