FRIENDS and family of a popular amateur footballer and doting dad who died suddenly say he will be ‘sorely missed’.
Described as athletic, strong and ‘fit as a fiddle’, 28-year-old Negus Finn suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday morning (September 1) at his Stramongate home.
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The dad-of-one, who worked at KL Venning Slaters, Tebay, as a foreman, played centre forward for Burneside Football Club reserve team – last playing on Saturday when the team recorded a 2-1 victory over Kendal United Reserves in division three of the West Lancs Football League.
“A football fanatic, an absolute legend and loved by everyone, he was one of the most genuine, caring people you’ve met in your life,” said friend and colleague Ben Dyson, 25, of Kendal.
The devoted Manchester United fan, better known to friends and family as Gus or Gustafa, came to Kendalfrom Wolverhampton with his sister Jahmilla Finn, 26, when he was 10 to live with their aunt.
The former Queen Katherine School pupil was said to have climbed the ladder at KL Venning Slaters to theposition of foreman, having started there more than ten years ago.
Mr Finn leaves partner of five years Megan Whelan, 24, and their three-year-old son Kaori who turns four on September 12 – sharing a birthday with his dad who would have been 29.
Ms Whelan described Mr Finn as a ‘brilliant dad’ and a ‘real family guy’, adding that he would always be playing football or FIFA with their son.
The ’outgoing’ Burneside player-of-five years was also said to be into his music and a keen singer with a ‘soulful voice’.
A celebration of Mr Finn’s life was held at his local pub, The Bridge Hotel, Stramongate, on Monday night with a turnout of more than 100 people.
“Everyone knew who he was and the whole town stood still for him on Monday,” said Ms Finn’s boyfriend Warren Stafford, 26.
“We had 40 people at ours alone before we even went out.”
Burneside Football Club tweeted on Tuesday that they would be retiring his shirt.
They tweeted: “Reserves will retire the number nine and frame the shirt with Gus on the back as he is the only player to wear the number in the new kit.”
Reserve team manager Daniel Croskell said: “He was a big character and one of the first people to be laughing.
“The first team wanted to take him on but he preferred to be with his mates on the reserve team.”
A tribute gig is being held in Mr Finn’s memory at Smokey’s Bar, Kendal, on Saturday (September 6) at 8pm where his friend Mr Dyson will be playing and singing.