Jim Marshall: Thanks for the support

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MK DONS wore black at stadium:mk on Bank Holiday Monday as a mark of respect to Jim Marshall OBE, founder of the iconic Marshall Amp, who passed away at Willen Hospice on Thursday.

The music legend, who was 88, had been suffering poor health for some time, and his death was met by universal sadness from all who knew him.

Not only was Jim known as ‘The Father of Loud’ around the world, but he was also a big supporter of sport in Milton Keynes, with the Marshall brand sponsoring MK Dons, plus the city’s basketball, athletics and boxing clubs.

A minute’s applause was held before Dons’ home game against Tranmere on Monday and the supporters rose again in the 11th minute in honour of the man who brought the world the amps which go ‘one louder’.

Chairman Pete Winkelman said: “Jim was the first to support us when the club arrived in Milton Keynes, and typical of his character, he decided that if he was going to back us he would do it with the biggest gesture possible, by sponsoring our kits.”

Dons won the League 2 title and lifted the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in 2008 in Marshall sponsored kits – a deal that saw Jim’s brand support the club for a total of five seasons.

“To this day those MK Dons strips with the Marshall sponsorship on them remain one of the coolest football shirts to have graced the English game,” added Winkelman.

MK Lions won the BBL Cup in 2008 while wearing their Marshall sponsored shirts and chief executive Vince Macaulay declared Jim as being ‘The Father of Hoops’ in MK for his backing of the club.

“We can’t thank him and his organisation enough for their support to us,” he said. “For us to win our first championship wearing a Marshall shirt was a great tribute to him.”

MK Victors Boxing Club has also benefited from Marshall backing, and head coach Tony Wright said he was very sad to hear the news of Jim’s death.

“We’ve benefited from his kind generosity which has enabled our club to keep running year after year,” he said.

“Jim will be a great loss to everyone. He’s touched the hearts and lives of many during his time in Milton Keynes.”

And they were sentiments echoed by MK Athletic Club chairman Mick Bromilow who said: “I’m really sorry Jim has not lasted to see the value of his contributions to the club in the run-up to the London Olympic Games.”

Away from sport, Jim was also known for his fantastic generosity to local charities and good causes and famously donated £750,000 to Milton Keynes Hospital. See pages 8 and 9 for more.