BROWNE ON THE BALL: Thanks for all the entertainment, Mr Malkinson

Pat Malkinson
Pat Malkinson

Duncan Browne pays tribute to the Pilgrims’ former chairman and owner, who passed away on Monday...

The Malkinson family’s business has long been entertainment.

From their land just outside of the town centre they have provided skating, dances, bingo and - some of us would say, most importantly - football to the townsfolk.

The Gliderdrome saw T-Rex, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and many more entertain the crowds on a Saturday night.

But it was Saturday afternoons where I will always picture Pat Malkinson, sat behind the York Street goal, watching his beloved Boston United.

Entertainment was the family business, but the Pilgrims was a passion for Mr Malkinson, who passed away on Monday.

As you will read in this week’s Boston Standard, those who knew him well have been quick to pay tribute to the ‘gentleman’ with traditional values, a love of his family and a firm generosity to those loyal to him.

In 2002 a burning ambition was finally realised when the Pilgrims won the Conference - following their season-long battle with Dagenham - and booked their place in the Football League.

Unfortunately, that came at a price.

At the time the club was being sold to Mansfield-based businessman Des Wood and Mr Malkinson’s involvement with United - coupled with the fraud case which came following an investigation into payments made to players by the club - was never the same.

However, his love for the club continued and he could often be spotted on matchdays opening the fire exit from the Glider and looking out on the pitch, sometimes watching his son-in-law Paul Bastock in goal for the Pilgrims, but generally just taking in the matchday atmosphere.

Despite his involvement with the club becoming less and less over the past 15 years, he would always enquire as to how things were going when our paths crossed, that keen interest remaining.

The bottom line is that without Mr Malkinson there would be no Boston United - and for that reason I will always remember him with great admiration, respect and fondness.

Thanks for all the entertainment.