HE was the founder of a city football club and a leading light in Tyro League football who discovered England international Darren Anderton.

Tony Witt, who set up Brendon FC during his teenage years and was later a scout for Alan Ball, has lost his long battle with lung cancer.

Named as Citizen of Southampton in 2015, his funeral will take place in the city today.

Tony and his brother David were among a crowd of young lads who spent much of the late 50s kicking a ball around from dawn to dusk on Brendon Green on the Millbrook estate. Tony was just 16 when he decided to formalise the team, founding Brendon Boys FC in '66. He used his own money to fund the first kits and wandered around Millbrook estate talent spotting. The team joined the recently formed Southampton Tyro League with tremendous success. A men’s team Green Park Youth was formed and later amalgamated with the Boys to form Brendon FC.

The club grew both in reputation and size and by the 75/76 season, it had 11 boys teams in various age groups and three men's sides. That season was the most successful in the club's history with at least one trophy for each side. Brendon became the team to play for in the city and Tony was selected by The Tyro League to become the Representative Manager for the Under 11 age group . His team travelled throughout Europe with enormous success in tournaments and plaudits for their behaviour on and off the pitch. Tony ran the team for 25 years. He also took a Brendon team to the USA to play in a tournament and helped organise twinning tournaments with a team from Le Havre for many years.

World Cup winner Alan Ball took Tony with him as a talent scout when he became Portsmouth manager. He scouted a number of local talents, the most successful being Darren Anderton of Itchen Saints who went on to enjoy a glittering career for Tottenham Hotspur and was capped 30 times by England.

Tony never forgot his beloved Brendon and continued to manage a boys team which later included his own son Andrew. Tony’s grandson Josh has also played for Brendon as have some of some of the original Brendon Boys grandsons. Tony’s youngest grandson, six-year-old Owen, will continue the family tradition next season.

Tony married Pat in 1975 and they had been married 45 years just two days before he passed away. Pat and their children Andrew and Rachael have shared Tony’s passion for boys football over the years and Rachael is now a valued member of the current Brendon committee.

Tony worked most of his life at Ordnance Survey. After taking early retirement, he worked at Southampton General Hospital as internal postman then later porter for Southampton Eye Hospital.

Five years ago, Tony was awarded the Citizen of the Year accolade. The award was presented to him by Lawrie McMenemy, whose sons had made up part of his representative side, and another former representative player Francis Benali, who both spoke highly about his 50 plus years of dedication to Brendon FC, football and the community.

Tony was a well-known and much-loved man with a cheerful and helpful disposition.

His funeral will take place at Southampton Crematorium at 3.15pm.