Sid Marson's been part of the furniture at Derby County for more than 50 years
FOR 52 years, virtually any football fan passing through the turnstiles at the old Baseball Ground or Pride Park Stadium is likely to have seen Sid Marson.
Since 1961, he has worked for the Rams as a chief steward, ground safety officer and tour guide.
For some fans, he has become as familiar as the stars on the pitch.
Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa was one of the fans who nominated Sid for a Community Champions award.
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He said: "I asked Sid to sign my autograph book, he is that much of a legend.
"He has given his life to the club and it is important for him to know how much he has contributed.
"Players and managers all get recognised and Sid deserves the same."
Thousands of people have been taken round Pride Park Stadium by the 81-year-old, with help from his wife, Barbara, after he started them in 1998.
The grandfather from Nottingham Road, Spondon, said: "I first started going to the Baseball Ground with my father as a child and, when I was 30, I started working on the turnstiles. That was in 1961.
"I was promoted to turnstile supervisor and then made ground safety officer after the Bradford fire disaster."
He then became chief steward at the Baseball Ground and, when the move to Pride Park happened, took charge of the corporate boxes.
Sid said: "I never really thought that I'd still be part of the club all these years later.
"My sons and I were thinking about it the other day and I think that it can only be Gordon Guthrie [the club's kitman and former physio] who's been there longer."
A former health and safety officer at the Dunlop Precision Rubber plant in Shepshed, Sid was also a Special Inspector for 20 years.
But he still found time to work with his beloved Rams and he is not the only one of his family who has caught the Derby County bug.
He said: "Barbara and I used to go to matches together and then, because I was working, she took our two sons, Philip and Chris.
"They have worked at the club, my brother Keith works there and two of my cousins have worked there."
Barbara died in June, only two years before their diamond wedding anniversary.
Sid said: "She was cremated in a Derby scarf and the club sent a number of representatives.
"I kept some of her ashes in a little Derby County urn at home. Some are buried and some were spread near where she sat."
This year's awards are being organised by the Mayor's Office and sponsored by the Derbyshire Building Society, Derby County Football Club and the Derby Telegraph.
The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 5.