Mick Vinter, who would have been 66 in a few weeks’ time, has died in hospital after a long illness.
Notts County was his first full-time professional club, signing from his hometown club, Boston United, in August 1971.
Over his first four seasons he was restricted to a total of 50 senior appearances with his debut being on the first day of the 1972-73 season, a goalless draw at Shrewsbury Town.
Then, in 1976-77 he became both more of a regular choice and scorer with 12 goals in 36 appearances.
Even better was to come the following campaign, 1977-78, his best with Notts when he scored 19 goals in 39 appearances. He enjoyed a vintage spell between late March and early April, scoring in six consecutive league matches, including the only goal of a local derby match against Mansfield Town. It was a sequence in which Notts lost only once, at Brighton & Hove Albion, despite a Vinter goal.
In the FA Cup he also scored four times and his outstanding scoring exploits earned him the accolade of Player of the Year for 1978, on a vote by the Notts supporters.
Vinter was not quite as prolific the following term despite being the Magpies’ leading scorer with 12 goals in 41 outings, notably including a hat-trick in a 4-1 home win over Sheffield United.
In the summer of 1979 he was allowed to leave Notts when Wrexham made a transfer bid of £150,000 but he was never as successful as in his later years at Meadow Lane. After Wrexham he moved on to three other league clubs - Oxford United, Mansfield Town and Newport County.
Vinter helped Oxford to win the championship in the third tier of the Football League in 1984 having already played his part in taking Wrexham to the Welsh Cup final in the early eighties.
He held player-coach positions with Oakham, Hucknall and Sutton and retired from the game after a season with Sneinton, continuing to make his home in Nottingham.
Unfortunately his long-time illness prevented him from watching Notts as often as he would have wished though he enjoyed an occasional visit to Meadow Lane.
We offer our sincere condolences to Mick’s family in their sad loss.