THOUSANDS of Wrexham supporters stood in silence last night to pay tribute to a lifelong fan crushed by a bus.
Arriva engineer Phil Formstone, of Narrow Lane, Gresford, was found underneath a vehicle he was working on at an Oswestry depot on Sunday afternoon.
Yesterday evening, before the Dragons’s conference game against Northwich Victoria, supporters stood together in silence for a minute to remember the popular 46-year-old.
While dozens of messages of condolence jammed the Red Passion Wrexham fan website, his devastated family told how they would miss the smile of Mr Formstone, known as Flinty.
Yesterday his uncle, Bryan Formstone, said: “He was always smiling and cheerful. He never had a bad word to say about anybody.
“For years he travelled to home and away games, he was a huge Wrexham fan.
“I used to take him bird watching, he was always really interested in wildlife.
“Another of his passions was real ale – he loved a good pint of real ale.
“It is a terrible tragedy what has happened.”
On the Red Passion website Mr Formstone’s 11-year-old son Adam wrote: “I’ll always miss you dad and you will always be my number one! No matter what. Love you dad. x”.
Mr Formstone lived with his parents, Eirian and Walter, in Narrow Lane, Gresford.
He also leaves behind his brother Peter and was an uncle to Peter's children Daniel Formstone, 19, and Jasmine Formstone, 15.
He went to primary school in Gresford and later Darland High School.
Mr Formstone went on to become an apprentice mechanic for Crosville, which later became Arriva, in Wrexham.
At the Oswestry depot he worked his way up to a supervisory role of charge hand.
Other supporters also spoke of their deep affection for Mr Formstone on Red Passion.
Wyn said: “Flinty was one of those people who could always make you laugh.
“A really nice guy and he will be greatly missed.
“I was gutted when I heard the news.”
Warrington Red said: “Flinty was a great bloke who will be sadly missed.
“You knew when you were in a decent ale pub away from home when you spotted him!
“Deepest sympathy to the family.”
West Mercia Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding Mr Formstone’s death and an inquest has been opened.
They were called to the premises in Salop Road, Oswestry, by the ambulance service at about 1.50pm. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
A post mortem showed Mr Formstone died from crush injuries and a full inquest will be held in the future to establish the exact circumstances surrounding his death.
Last night’s silence also paid tribute to former Football Conference chairman Jim Thompson who passed away and another stalwart Dragons fan Alan Humphreys who also died recently in France.
Wrexham report – page 42