He first saw Darlaston Town play as a seven-year-old sitting on the roof of a shed in a garden alongside the ground.
Now, almost 70 years later, Reg Kingston has provided the spark which has ignited the revival of the football club believed to be the second oldest in the country.
His telephone call to club historian Neil Chambers prompted the meeting that started a rescue bid to relaunch the beloved team.
Retired surgeon Mr Kingston even made a 280-mile round trip from his home in Chorley, near Manchester, to join almost 100 other supporters to discuss the historic club’s future.
He decided to try to do something after hearing news that his beloved Darlaston Town FC has been pulled from the league amid fears it had collapsed and called Mr Chambers to see what could be done.
Mr Chambers, who was elected the new club chairman at a meeting on Wednesday night, said: “Reg Kingston’s call provided me with the inspiration to organise the meeting.
“He made me realise that somebody had to take some action – and thank goodness he did.
“I wanted to see if there was enough effort, energy and ultimately money, to get the club going again. The reaction I had was fantastic.” A 14-strong committee has now been set up to try to revive the club and set about raising the cash needed to get it playing again next year.
They have also registered it with the Birmingham County FA to ensure that its proud history remains unbroken.
Mr Kingston fell in love with the club as a boy, was its assistant trainer as a teenager, and remained a loyal fan after moving away from the area – where members of his family ran both Kingstons butchers and Middletons Toy Shop in King Street for many years.
He left Darlaston aged 20 to pursue a successful medical career in the North West but said: “Darlaston Football Club was always in my heart and I kept in touch with their fortunes.
“So I was devastated to hear that they no longer had a team.
“I phoned to offer support and came down to the meeting to reinforce that commitment. I am delighted that I did because it served to confirm my belief that a place cannot have a football team for over 130 years without also having a lot of substance.
“I will do all I can to ensure we bounce back.”
Darlaston Town FC former in 1874 and played its games at the City Ground in Waverley Road until it emerged last month it had resigned from the West Midlands Regional League.