Fulham have paid tribute to former vice-chairman Bill Muddyman following his death at the age of 82, saying “his contributions will never be forgotten”.

The lifelong fan spent 16 years on the Craven Cottage board and helped keep the club afloat at a time when they were on the brink, as well as playing a key role in Mohamed Al Fayed’s purchase of the club.

Fulham’s official statement reads as follows:

The Club was saddened to learn of the passing of Bill Muddyman yesterday at the age of 82.

A lifelong fan, Bill played a key role in saving Fulham when we were at our lowest ebb, and ended up spending 16 years on the board.

With the Whites struggling in the lower tiers, there was a time when it genuinely looked as though the Club could go out of business, but Bill provided a considerable amount of his own money to keep things afloat.

Further down the line when Bill was in position as Vice-Chairman, he helped facilitate the purchase of the Club, along with his son Andy, by Mohamed Al Fayed’s company, Fulham Leisure Holdings.

“For Andy, myself and other members of the board, this marriage between Fulham FC and Mr Al Fayed is our dream scheme come true,” Bill said at the time. “It presents a wonderful opportunity for our football club to return to its former glory and to take its place where it belongs – at the top.”

Bill remained heavily involved in the running of Fulham as we achieved his dream of returning to the top of the football pyramid, until leaving his position on the board in 2003.

Upon learning of Bill’s passing, our Chairman Shahid Khan said: “It’s hard to imagine what generations of Fulham supporters would have lost if not for Bill Muddyman and his commitment through trying times to keep the Club alive, independent, and playing at Craven Cottage.

“Everyone who loves Fulham owes a debt of gratitude to Bill, his son Andy and their family for their care of the Club. Fulham remains London’s original and oldest club, and for that we thank Bill Muddyman.”

Everyone at the Club would like to offer their condolences to Bill’s family and friends at this sad time. His contribution to Fulham will never be forgotten.