TRIBUTES have been paid to a respected former Rhyl FC footballer.

Mick Metcalf spent time with Rhyl in the early 1970s after a successful professional career with Wrexham and Chester.

He has died at the age of 79, after a period of illness.

Former goalkeeper Grenville Millington played alongside Metcalf for the Lilywhites and has spoken fondly of a player he greatly respected.

He said: "Mick played in the team I supported and I watched him every week before I played with him at Rhyl.

"I followed him to Witton Albion where he was the manager and if it wasn't for him I wouldn't have had the career I had.

"I was thinking of joining the police force and he told me to keep playing and he would try and help get me back in the Football League.

"He was my big brother, my uncle and my mate and his passing is very sad.

"We went to see him eight months ago when he was in hospital and he was talking about taking things a bit easier."

Metcalf, who lived in Connah's Quay, was part of Chester's 'Famous Five' frontline of the 1960s who were prolific in the Fourth Division.

During the 1964-65 season Metcalf and his fellow forwards Jimmy Humes, Elfed Morris, Hugh Ryden and Gary Talbot each managed at least 20 goals.

Metcalf had previously played for neighbours Wrexham, where he had scored 58 goals in 121 league games.

He had joined Wrexham as a part-timer so he could finish a chemistry degree.

Metcalf crossed the border for a £5,000 fee in 1963 and his spell at Chester included appearing in 127 consecutive games – a club record he would hold until 2009.

He left Chester in 1969 after scoring 68 goals in 221 league games, moving into non-league football with clubs including Altrincham, Rhyl, Bangor City and Bethesda Athletic.

Metcalf would also have spells in charge of Connah's Quay Nomads and Witton Albion.

He went on to run his own chemical firm, Metlab Supplies Ltd, which is still in his family's ownership.