Tributes for AFC Wolves, Diamond Coaching and Padiham Juniors coach Gaz Edwards who has died at the age of 38
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Tributes have flooded in for the Clarets fan and dad of two who was a coach for AFC Wolves, Diamond Coaching and Padiham Juniors.
Burnley FC manager Vincent Kompany sent a sympathy message to the family along with gifts of BFC shirts and hats for Gaz’s two sons Theo (12), who has described his dad as ‘my best friend,’ and seven-year-old Colby.
Known for his commitment and passion for coaching, Gaz even formed a new team at Padiham FC, the Mini Storks, so that Colby and his friends could start to play at the age of four. Gaz’s wife Chanais said: “He was an amazing husband and the best dad and football coach.”
Gaz died suddenly after collapsing while out shopping with Chanais in Padiham’s Tesco store on Sunday, September 17th. Staff rushed to help Gaz, along with nurse Mel Johnson, a family friend who was in the store at the time. Gaz was taken to Blackburn Royal Infirmary but later died of a brain haemorrhage.
A former pupil at Padiham Primary and Ivy Bank High schools, Gaz started working for a Sabden based upholsterers at the age of 16. He later became a scaffolder, working as a manager for Anti-Fall Scaffolding in Padiham. Football was his passion but he also enjoyed darts and cricket and his family holidays. Gaz’s death has stunned his hometown of Padiham where he was so well known and on Sunday a one minute’s silence was held before all the grassroots games played across the borough.
Also a Liverpool fan, Gaz had arranged for his sons, and nephew Clayton, to take penalties on the pitch at Turf Moor ahead of the Clarets match against Manchester United last Saturday.
The club honoured the arrangement and the boys got to be mascots and meet Gareth Southgate, Ian Wright and Jordan North.
Gaz’s brother James said: “We have been overwhelmed with the many messages, cards and flowers we have received and we would like to thank everyone for their support and love.
“We would also like to thank all those who helped Gaz when he fell ill in Tesco. The staff, Mel and staff at the hospital were brilliant.
“Gaz really was an amazing lad, everyone loved him, you couldn’t have met a nicer or more genuine guy.”
Gaz’s funeral takes place on Friday (September 29th) at Burnley Crematorium at 2-30pm followed by a gathering at Ighten Leigh Social Club. Anyone who knew Gaz is welcome to attend.
Gaz also leaves his parents, Jimmy and Pam, brothers Jay, Ben and Joe and many other relatives and friends who he considered to be family.
A gofundme page set up for Gaz’s family has already raised over £27,000. If you would like to donate please click HERE