Matt Porter said it was a “privilege” to have called Justin Edinburgh a friend after the head coach’s death on Saturday.

Porter, one of the club’s directors, posted a message on his Twitter page paying tribute to the O’s boss after he passed away just weeks after guiding the club back to the Football League.

In his post, Porter said: “My heart broke for Kerri, for Charlie and Cydnie and the Edinburgh family. It broke for Leyton Orient, our staff, players and fans who adored him and for everyone in football who had worked with and known Justin, but most of all it broke for Justin himself – a man with so much to offer, so much to give and so much right to be able to give it.

“To have had that snatched away from him in his prime is just the cruellest thing and as I sit here with tears in my eyes on the night he left us, I cannot even begin to understand why it has happened.

“Justin, to be able to call you a friend was a privilege. To be able to have been with you on our journey was a dream and to honour your memory will be our way of keeping you with us.”

As well as praising the professional side of Edinburgh, Porter also pointed out the human element to the boss’ management style and he believes that’s what made Edinburgh and the club work so well together.

He said: “Our chats were always the same – honest, never shirking responsibility or reality. But the human side was what mattered most to him. People were number one to him and boy did he know how to make them feel special and deliver their best. As individuals and as a club we adored him and his impact on us all was profound.

“Obviously our form was good and we spent most of the season at the top of the table. The pressure for promotion grew around the club – Nigel [Travis] and Kent [Teague] poured offerings of support and help onto Martin [Ling] and Justin: overnight trips, signings, squad days out, whatever it takes guys, get us back into the league.”