Seagulls fan Joe's 'humour and intellect will be sorely missed'

PUBLISHED: 17:33 19 December 2018

Weston Football Supporters Club Secretary Jo Varian presenting the Ben Stevens Cup for Young Player to Jon Mille in 2003.

Weston Football Supporters Club Secretary Jo Varian presenting the Ben Stevens Cup for Young Player to Jon Mille in 2003.

Weston Mercury

The funeral of one of Weston Football Club's biggest fans will be held tomorrow (Thursday).

Jo Varian died earlier in the month.Jo Varian died earlier in the month.

Former Weston Mercury employee Joe Varian died on December 7 at the age of 85.

Joe and his wife Shirley spent a huge amount of their time following the Seagulls both at home and away matches and a minute’s silence was organised by the club for its game against Woking the following day.

Chairman Paul Bliss said: “Joe will be sorely missed by the club where he was a member of the supporters club for many years.

“He helped the supporters club to raise significant funds during his time as a member.

Joe Varian (left) was a fixture in the press box.Joe Varian (left) was a fixture in the press box.

“He has been a loyal supporter and servant over in excess of 40 years and his humour and intellect will be sorely missed by all of us.

“Up until quite recently, he travelled to each and every away match without exception as part of his reporting duties for the press.”

Irishman Joe worked for the Mercury for decades, both as a typesetter and in his later years with the sportsdesk reporting on Weston-super-Mare’s football games.

Mercury editor Tom Wright said: “While Joe had retired by the time I joined the Mercury in 2011, he still contributed a lot with his match reports from Weston games.

“I’d often see him sat in the stand at the Woodspring Stadium before a game where he would be tucked up well in advance of kick off.

“If memory serves he got himself on television when the Football Focus cameras came to Weston four years ago – and rightly so given his allegiance to the club.

“Our longest-serving staff who remember his time here were hugely saddened to hear of his passing and they paid tribute to his joyful Irish character which added a lot to the Mercury office over the years.”

Joe’s funeral will be held tomorrow at St John’s Church, in Lower Church Road. It will begin at 1.30pm.

Family flower donations only are being accepted but contributions to the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance charity are also welcomed.

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