Tributes have been paid after the death of one of Cumbrian football’s most well-known and dedicated servants.

Fred Conway was chairman of the Cumberland Football Association, who announced his passing on Sunday.

Mr Conway was a hugely admired figure in the sport across the county for his many years of work with clubs and the county's FA.

Many clubs and individuals sent messages of tribute and condolence after the sad news, with a number describing him as a "legend".

The Cumberland FA, in a statement, said: “Everyone at Cumberland is shocked and devastated by the passing of our chair and FA representative, Fred Conway.

“The county will make a further statement in due course but for now our sympathy and thoughts are with his partner Vicky and his family.”

The Cumberland FA added that their office will be closed on Monday following the devastating news.

Mr Conway, 59, lived in Maryport and was hugely admired in west Cumbria for his work in football, including roles as manager and chairman at Mirehouse AFC in Whitehaven.

As well as his role at the Cumberland FA, he was also chairman of the Cumberland County League.

His dedication to the sport across the county was recognised in a series of tributes by clubs on social media.

Carlisle United said their chairman Andrew Jenkins “has passed on his deepest condolences to Fred's family and loved ones on behalf of everyone at the club.”

Mirehouse AFC described Mr Conway as “a true gentleman".

They added: “His time at Mirehouse was the most successful in the club’s history, all due to his dedication to the sport he loved.

“The impact he left on the players will live on in his memory. He will be a huge miss within the football community.

“From us all at Mirehouse AFC past and present, thank you Fred. Rest easy up there until we meet again on the football field.”

Northbank Football Club in Carlisle wrote: “Awful news. Sincere condolences to his family, friends and everyone at CFA.”

Whitehaven AFC said Mr Conway was “an amazing gentleman with a heart of gold."

Cleator Moor Celtic added: “We are all devastated to hear the sad news of the passing of Fred Conway.

"A great friend to our club and he touched so many people with his passion for football. We have lost a great man to Cumbria football. Thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.”

Penrith AFC Ladies said they were saddened by the passing of “such an iconic football man. A fan and huge supporter of the women’s game.”

Other regional football associations also paid tribute to Mr Conway.

The Westmorland FA said: “Such awful news. Our thoughts are with Fred’s family and friends at this difficult time from everyone at Westmorland County FA. A fantastic man.”

The Manchester FA added: “The thoughts of everyone at Manchester FA are with the family and friends of Fred as well as Cumberland FA during this difficult time.”

Mike Starkie, mayor of Copeland, added: "Sorry to hear of the passing of Fred Conway today. Fred is a very well known figure in local football and his passion and commitment to Cumbrian football resulted in many opportunities for local players. Condolences to all Fred’s family and friends, RIP."

Carlisle City FC paid a heartfelt tribute to Mr Conway on Monday morning, describing him as a "committed, determined advocate of all football in Cumbria".

"He was always forthright and straightforward in his opinions but his motives were always to promote the best interests of the game he loved and gave so many hours to," the club said.

"Fred was a sponsor of our first-team captain Josh Simpson, who was managed by him whilst playing for Cumberland FA under 18s."

City chairman Brian Hall added: ”I have known Fred and worked alongside him on committees for many years. The news yesterday was a body blow and still difficult to comprehend.

"Fred led with his heart and it wasn’t always easy to get a word in during meetings but you knew his best interests were always in the right place. He was trying to drive football forward. The local game and the local community will be a poorer place for his passing.”

City plan to hold a minute's silence in memory of Mr Conway before their Cumberland Cup game against Maryport Athletic on Tuesday evening.