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Tributes to tragic Burnley football coach
TRIBUTES have been paid to a ‘true family man’ and an ‘inspirational’ junior football coach who was found dead at work.
Father-of-two David Campbell, 51, of Casterton Avenue, Burnley, was found hanging at Ultra Finishing Ltd, Widow Hill Road, on the Heasandford Industrial Estate early on Monday.
He leaves wife Hazel and two sons, Alex, 17, who plays for Burnley United, and 11-year-old Joseph.
Speaking from the home they shared, Hazel said the family was ‘devastated and shocked’ by his death.
She said: “David was generous and kind, a true family man.
“He loved his boys and was loved by all his family. It’s been very difficult, we’re all struggling to come to terms with what’s happened.”
Mr Campbell, a lifelong Burnley FC fan, had been a football coach at Fulledge Colts for several years, where he oversaw the under-11s team in which son Joseph played.
Team manager Stephen Boyle, 44, said he was ‘an inspirational man’ and ‘totally dedicated to grass roots football’.
He said: “I’ve worked alongside Dave with the juniors for the last four years.
“There’s a genuine sense of disbelief and from all at the club that he’s gone.
“He was at our game on Sunday and seemed his usual self.
“He was firm but fair with the team and was as good humoured as always, sharing a joke with me and the other parents.
“Dave was dedicated to the club, not only on the pitch but with his interactions with parents and his desire to improve the skills of the lads he coached.
“We had training last night and it was extremely difficult, especially for the young boys.”
Fulledge Colts chairman, Brian Fulton, also paid tribute.
He said: “All at the club are devastated by the news of Dave's death.
“Dave was a well-respected, genuine person, who was not involved in junior football for self gain, but to develop the kids who he coached.
“All our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.
East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor opened and adjourned an inquest yesterday morning.
The hearing was told that emergency services had been called to Ultra Finishing Ltd at 6.47am after a security guard opening up the building found Mr Campbell’s body inside.
A spokeswoman for Ultra Finishing said: “We are all deeply saddened by recent events. All our thoughts are with the family.”
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