Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Tragic Loss of a Loyal Bluebird

The tragic news of Michael Dye’s untimely death following an incident outside Wembley Stadium last night has come as a bitter blow to everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him. Lifelong Cardiff fan Mikey was a popular character who will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Despite having been on nodding terms for decades, Mike and I weren’t properly introduced until an away game at Charlton in November 2007, after which our paths crossed at City matches on many more occasions. Although we never got to know each other well, Mike would often make a point of saying hello and having a chat whenever he spotted me at games. He was a sociable lad who always seemed to have a smile on his face and a joke or a story to tell.

Mikey and I were the same age and although our backgrounds differed, we had plenty in common. We both became Cardiff City fans while we were youngsters; we both supported the Bluebirds home and away throughout the Eighties and Nineties while the club was at its lowest ebb; we both witnessed the team’s improved fortunes in recent times; indeed, Mike and his family were sitting just a couple of rows behind me during the FA Cup final in 2008; we both organised transport for away matches and we made many mutual friends through football over the years.

Back in the days when City were attracting tiny crowds in the lower divisions of the Football League, Mikey developed friendships with a number of the Whitchurch-based supporters who nowadays travel to away games on my coaches. One of the lads was heading down to the Cardiff City Stadium earlier this evening to put a tribute on the old Ninian Park gates on behalf of the CF14 Blues.

The most fitting personal tribute I can pay Mikey is to say he was someone who never failed to make me smile or laugh whenever I spoke to him. He was very well-liked amongst City’s support and always seemed to have time for everyone he encountered. His death at the age of 44 is a genuine tragedy.

I’d like to offer my sincere condolences to Mike’s partner Nathalie, his children and all of his family and friends.

Rest in peace, Mikey. It’s an honour to have known you.