It is with an immensely heavy heart that I write this tribute to a remarkable young man who I had the pleasure of knowing.
I have known Tommy for more than 10 years as his older brother Micky Blackmore, one of the mainstays in the Millwall Supporters Club team which I manage, brought him along to watch the matches.
Tommy was often there kicking the ball around on the sidelines. As time passed he would often ask when he could play in the team.
Eventually when he was a young teenager Tommy got his first substitute appearance in one of our matches. The players rallied around him, winning the ball and giving it to him so he could show the skills he must have picked up from his older brother.
You could see how much it meant to him to be playing for Millwall with his mates. But you could also see how much Tommy playing meant to the other players.
As each season passed, Tommy grew a bit more and was involved more and more in our matches, pitting himself against men until he became first choice in centre midfield alongside his brother.
The Blackmore brothers formed a formidable partnership in the midfield, breaking up play and using their great range of talents to set up many an attack along with scoring many a great goal themselves.
Tommy loved Millwall and especially playing for the MSC alongside his mates that he had known for years. And in return, his team-mates loved him. They had seen him grow up from a child on the sidelines to be one of our great players.
Tommy also assisted me a fair bit in running the team. He would chase the other players up who hadn’t replied to me asking them about their availability. He also set up a Twitter account for the MSC football team asking oppositions teams for matches.
This was Tommy all over. Always looking to get involved and helping others whenever he could. With my involvement in running the MSC team I’ve seen Tommy grow from a young boy into a lovely man, charming, polite, fiercely loyal and yet fun young man who was mature beyond his years.
I’ve had so many people including MSC teammates from the years past and present express their shock and sadness in the last few days about this tragedy. None of us can believe what has happened.
I shall miss Tommy forever as will many, many people. He was a remarkable young man, a real diamond who I had the pleasure of knowing and calling a friend.
RIP Tommy Blackmore
Ian Toal is chairman of the Millwall Supporters Club