Everybody at the club was saddened to hear of the passing of former manager Martin Harvey on Monday evening.
Harvey, 78, a Northern Ireland international in his playing days [34 caps and three goals], joined the Blues in 1976 when he came to Brunton Park as assistant to Bobby Moncur.
He took sole charge of the club in February 1980 with a team that included United legends such as Bobby Parker and Peter Beardsley, and he achieved a run of results which transformed a potential relegation battle into a top six finish.
His playing career was almost exclusively with Sunderland where he made over 350 appearances.
Having left United he later moved with Moncur to Plymouth, and he was also assistant manager with Northern Ireland for the 1982 and 1986 World Cup competitions.
Chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “He was an absolute gentleman who had a huge depth of football knowledge.
“He was a strong assistant to Bobby Moncur and his opinion was always respected. Jimmy Bendall had no hesitation in appointing him as manager when Bobby left us and he had an infectious enthusiasm in his approach to coaching the players.
“There really isn’t a bad word to say about him. He worked hard, he brought new ideas and he demanded a lot from his players.
“I am deeply saddened to hear this news and my thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”