SYMPATHY flooded in from the local footballing scene following the death of Blackfield and Langley FC assistant manager Chris Farrell.
Chris died on Wednesday morning after a number of heart attacks, according to the club, which said it was “broken” by the news.
The Watersiders said in a statement: “It is with desperate sadness that we inform you of the passing of Chris Farrell.
“Chris suffered another heart attack which his body couldn’t cope with and he died this morning.
“Everyone at Blackfield and Langley FC are shocked and absolutely devastated by this news today. Chris was an epic man who had played a massive part in the Club’s success over the last eight years and he will be dreadfully missed.
“All of our love and thoughts go out to Chris’ wife Nicky and his family and friends. He will forever be a huge part of the club.”
It added: “At this time, the close family would appreciate some time and space for grieving and coming to terms with their loss.”
The Gang Warily-based outfit, managed by Glenn Howes, won the Sydenhams Wessex League title last season and are currently leading the Evo-Stik Division One South.
Before Chris’s death there had been hope of recovery from an initial heart attack, according to an update from Nicky, via the club, on Tuesday.
At that stage he had regained consciousness but remained in critical care. The club is based at Gang Warily recreation centre in Newlands Road, Fawley.
Teams from across the south paid tribute on social media to Chris, with Brockenhurst FC tweeting: “Really sorry to hear of the sad loss of Chris Farrell of [Blackfield and Langley FC].
“From everyone at [Brockenhrust FC] our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this time. RIP, Chris – a proper gentleman and stalwart of local non-league football.”
Christchurch FC said: “Very sad news. Chris was a real football man and a thoroughly nice guy. Condolences go out to his family and friends at this sad time, and to everyone at Blackfield and Langley FC. RIP, Chris.”
Totton and Eling FC said: “Sincere condolences to Chris’s family and friends. RIP, Chris, from all at T&E.”
Sydenhams Wessex Football League tweeted: “Sincere condolences to family and friends.”