A mum has paid tribute to her ‘gentle giant’ son after he died suddenly aged just 43.
Andrew Darmody, from Accrington, had been suffering with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a rare form of cancer that affects the immune system before his death on June 30.
He had been suffering with it for more than two years, however the cancer prognosis was not terminal, and the cause of his death is being investigated by the coroner.
Andrew’s mother Irene said his death had come as a great shock and had “devastated” their family.
She said: “It hasn’t fully sunk in. It’s a horrendous nightmare, all the family are in complete shock.
“He had been undergoing treatment for two and a half years but we didn’t expect this.
“His family was his life. He was the strong one in the family he cared about everybody, he tried not to show how he was feeling. This past 12 months was probably the happiest months of his life because he was with his family.”
A lifelong Liverpool fan, Andrew attended Hippings Methodist Primary School in Oswaldtwistle, before his family moved to Poole in Dorset when he was 12.
In Poole he became a keen fisherman, once catching three seven foot long conger eels in one day using just a rod and line. But he was homesick and moved back to Accrington when he was 28, settling with his cousin Dawn Greenwood who he described as his ‘second mum’.
Irene said: “He always wanted to come back. He just missed being in Lancashire, he was a real Lancashire lad.”
Andrew had worked as a metal polisher throughout his life, but devoted his energies to his allotment and looking after his poultry - and providing eggs for all his local relatives - after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Irene added: “I heard him recently called the gentle giant.
“He loved animals, he was so big and tough you wouldn’t think it but he looked after them and cared for them.
“We all loved him so much. Some of the family are struggling to be able to speak at the funeral because it’s so devastating but we will all get together and do the best that we can for him.”
Andrew leaves his wife Gail, children Dione, Carl, Ryan, Amy, Siana, grandchildren Tee Jay and Noah, parents Maurice and Irene and many more beloved family members.
His funeral will take place on Thursday, July 7 at 11.40am Accrington Crematorium.