Tributes have been paid and a crowdfunding page set up in memory of Peterborough man who fell ill and died during the Great Eastern Run yesterday, Sunday.
Father of two Paul McCann, 32, was about half a mile from the finishing line of the city’s half marathon when he fell ill.
Mr McCann was working to become a train driver and was well known on the city’s sport scene due to his role as lead coach of Riverside FC.
Today, Monday October 10, Riverside FC secretary Kuljit Senth said: “Paul was our lead coach for a few years and was currently working on getting his dream job of becoming a train driver off the ground.
“Although he wasn’t playing a huge part in the club this season he was a great mentor to my son Nathan and our previous Uni students Lewis and George.
“He will be sadly missed by all at Riverside. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family especially his lovely children.”
A crowdfunding page was set up after yesterday’s tragedy and has already raised more than £300.
Set up by colleague Bianca Rennie, the page reads: “Weʼre raising £200 to raise a little bit of money for Paul McCann’s family.
“As many people know it is with great sadness that we lost a fellow driver and to may a friend yesterday. Paul Mccann was running the great eastern run, a half marathon in Peterborough yesterday when he fell ill about a mile away from the finish line.
“I’m sure all of us can agree this man was a wonderful human being and just an all round nice guy who will be so badly missed and gutting that he was also so close to taking his part c which I know he’d worked so hard for.
“I was with his wife and kids last night I know all your kind messages were very much needed so thank you all for that! Really wonderful when we all come together when something tragic happens.” ❤️
Alan Donohoe, President of Riverside FC said: “It is always hard to have to officially notify all members within this section about the death of one of our members and harder still when it’s a person you have known for some time, our Lead Coach, Paul McCann.
“Paul had coached some of our younger groups, some older, goalkeeper coached, and mentored coaches at the Club here for us over the last 5 years and aside of that, had such a good nature, it was impossible not to like him. I first came across him and his dad about 20 years ago when I was at Woodston Dynamo , a delightful family.
“Paul had undergone such a tragic last year losing his mum, affecting his life and his personal family life tremendously. I spoke to him via messenger in June about how he was “getting on” and it was great to hear from him that he felt he was starting to rebuild his life and was optimistic about getting fit and the satisfaction he got and enjoyed from coaching.
“I told him that we understood his circumstances and that we had missed the benefit his coaching had brought to our club and his nature and personality.
“It is so sad that he has lost his life on top of all the tragedy that he had nearly come through and the amount of suffering in those years.
“I believe he lost his life during the running of the Peterborough half-marathon.
“This Club has lost a gifted and respected coach and the World a wonderfully good natured guy. It is so sad ! The Club thoughts and mine personally are with his family at this sad time.
“We will be respecting his memory, as a Club, at this weekend games.”
Annette Joyce, Peterborough City Council service director for city services and communications, said: “On behalf of everyone involved in the organisation of the Perkins Great Eastern Run, I would like to say how saddened we are by the news.
“We would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends at what must be an incredibly difficult time.”
The crowdfunding page is https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bianca-rennie