TONY Kelly has passed a heartfelt message of thanks to the Bolton Wanderers fans for their support after his mother passed away.

The former Whites midfielder contacted The Bolton News to say how appreciative he was of the messages he has received in the last few days.

Kelly’s mother passed away in hospital recently after suffering a stroke and she is also thought to have contracted the COVID-19 virus.

A fundraising page was set up by a group of supporters on Tuesday, which has raised more than £600 and will be used by the family to provide a lasting tribute to Mrs Kelly, who was a devoted volunteer in her local community.

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you,” Kelly said. “The Bolton Wanderers fans have been absolutely fantastic and I am humbled by it.

“The way they have rallied around shows what a special club this is, and I know the rest of my family appreciate it too.

“My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one at this sad time.”

An online fundraising page set up by fans can be found here.