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Cherries: Redknapp and Pulis lead 'Nimbus' tributes
EX-CHERRIES bosses Harry Redknapp and Tony Pulis have led the tributes to Ken ‘Nimbus’ Sullivan, who passed away on Saturday following a long illness. He was 87.
A Cherries stalwart, Mr Sullivan worked on a voluntary basis for the club for 35 years and was kit man under Redknapp, Pulis, Mel Machin and Sean O’Driscoll.
His long association with the club started in the late 1960s when he was bucket-and-sponge man for the late Reg Tyrrell’s successful Cherries youth team.
Mr Sullivan and wife Audrey also provided digs for numerous squad members, their list of house guests reading like a Who’s Who of Cherries players past and present.
QPR boss Redknapp, who had Mr Sullivan alongside him on the day Cherries won promotion at Fulham in 1987, said: “I loved him to bits and they have thrown away the mould now he has gone. He was a fantastic guy and was always there for you.
“He always had a smile on his face and loved the club. I never met anyone who didn’t like him and he was an absolute character. Everyone had time for him and he had time for everyone.”
Mr Sullivan, who had worked as a driver for Kennedy’s Builders Merchants until his retirement, played football for Strouden Corinthians, Bournemouth Gasworks and Bournemouth Poppies, and cricket for Kennedy’s.
A regular recipient of the award as the leading wicketkeeper in the Bournemouth League, he was reputed to have had the longest pads in Bournemouth cricket history!
Stoke City boss Pulis said: “Every time I think about him, it brings a smile to my face. He was such a character.
“Nimbus and John Kirk were from a different era. They were both rock-solid soldiers who just got on with life and enjoyed every minute of it.
“You meet people in your life who leave a mark and Nimbus was one of them. He was always happy, he always had a story and was always there for you when you needed cheering up. He was a smashing fella.”
Mr Sullivan’s son Bob said: “Dad would walk into a room and light it up. He had medals coming out of his ears for football and cricket.
“I thought I was his only son but it seems he had a lot more because so many people have said he was like a father to them.”
A personal tribute to Mr Sullivan from current Cherries manager Eddie Howe will be published in the club programme on Saturday when a minute’s applause will be held before kick-off.
Mr Sullivan is survived by wife Audrey, son Bob and daughter Maureen together with four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His funeral will take place at Bournemouth Crematorium on Monday (11am).