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Tributes to Accrington Stanley fan Jamie Garvey who died hours after receiving hero's shirt

Jamie died suddenly on Sunday aged 39

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Accrington Stanley fan Jamie Garvey, 39, passed away suddenly on May 6

Hundreds of tributes have been paid to an Accrington Stanley fanatic who passed away wearing his hero’s match-worn shirt.

Jamie Garvey, who was disabled from birth, passed away suddenly at his home on Alexander Close, Clayton-le-Moors, on Sunday, May 6.

The 39-year-old, who was married to Jane, had returned from Stanley’s last game of the season at Swindon the night before, and was due to attend the champions’ parade and civic celebration at Accrington Town Hall.

Jamie’s step-son Martyn Parry, also of Clayton-le-Moors, described how Jamie had excitedly told him, the previous evening, that he had been lucky enough to receive star striker Billy Kee’s shirt at the end of the game.

He said: “He died at home, still wearing the shirt. He was that happy, he wore it all night.

“I was choked up that Billy had done that, normally the club auction shirts at the end of the year - Jamie had been after his shirt for three years. He was a massive fan both home and away - he was one of those people on the coach, always laughing and joking, even when they lost he still had a smile on his face.”

Jamie had been a fan of Stanley for the past 15 years, and had already renewed his season ticket for the following season.

Martyn, 29, says hundreds of tributes and messages to his step-father, who he saw nearly every day, have been moving.

He said: “I was in tears reading the comments and messages - it was a massive shock, how many people knew him that well. I want to say a massive thank you to all those who have sent tributes. I’ve read nearly every single one and it’s a great testament to Jamie.”

Jamie’s mother Linda Eatough, of Great Harwood, spoke to her son on the evening before his death and said he was ‘over the moon’ at having been given the shirt.

Linda, 65, said: “I’d like to thank everybody at Accrington Stanley, all the fans and Jamie’s friends for their many tributes.

“Jamie was a wonderful son and his family are devastated by our loss.”

Stanley star striker Billy Kee described Jamie as his ‘good friend’.

He tweeted: “So sad to wake up to the news that my good friend Jamie passed away yesterday after giving him my shirt at the end of the game. Thoughts go out to all his family and friends at this very sad time.”

Jamie's funeral will be held at 10.45am on Monday, May 21 at St. Hubert's Church in Great Harwood.

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Everyone who knew him is welcome to attend and wear a football shirt, preferably Accrington Stanley.

All funeral enquiries to Champ Funeral Services.