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Funeral of Norwich City steward to be held this week

PUBLISHED: 13:00 29 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:48 02 July 2010

Olly Skinner

Olly Skinner

David Bale

Tributes have been paid to a Norwich City football steward, described as a “smashing guy”, who has died suddenly aged just 28.

David Bale

A date has been set for the funeral of a Norwich City football steward, described as a “smashing guy”, who died suddenly aged just 28.

As reported in the Evening News, popular Olly Skinner, from Wymondham, died suddenly in the early hours of Sunday morning.

He had been a steward for the Norwich and Peterborough lower stand at the Carrow Road ground for about a year.

Tributes have poured in as friends and colleagues remember him and speak of their shock at his death.

Brett Flavell, 29, who had been friends with Mr Skinner for five years, said: “He was an excellent bloke. He was the happiest guy I knew and I can't believe he's gone. He loved life and he was an inspiration to everybody.”

David Chapman, who knew Mr Skinner when he was 17, said: “He was a lovely lad and showed a lot of kindness to my daughters.

“He won't be forgotten.”

Michelle Hayward said: “Both myself and my brother grew up with Olly and his family. He was always smiling and had a joke to tell. Olly and the lads on our estate in Mulbarton where we lived used to play football at the top green as they called it then.

“Our thoughts are with his brother James and his mum Anne at their loss of such a happy, smiley brother and son.”

During the week, Mr Skinner, who was single, commuted to Cambridge everyday where he worked as an assistant site manager for construction firm Lovell.

He worked at the Norwich City home game at the weekend when Norwich beat Brentford 1-0 the day before he died.

A football club spokesman said: “Everyone at the club is sad to hear the news of Mr Skinner's death and our thoughts at this sad time are very much with his family and friends.”

Dozens of tributes have also been posted on the pinkun.com website.

Peter Flatt, who worked with Mr Skinner as a steward, said: “I would like to pay tribute to a friend and work colleague Olly Skinner.

“Sadly he passed away suddenly in the early hours of Sunday morning and he was only 28.

“He was a smashing guy and made friends with everyone he came into contact with.

“He was with me at the last home match on Saturday against Brentford and then hours later we lose a great friend.

“We will all miss you Olly, especially me, as we always had a laugh and joke together. NCFC will not be the same on Saturday afternoons.”

Other comments have been posted on the website, including: “Sad news puts the football into perspective a little bit. My thoughts are with his family.”

And another said: “That's so sad at 28 he had his life in front of him. My thoughts are now with his family and friends.”

Yet another said: “If being associated with a football club means anything it is the sympathy of strangers with whom you share that common bond.”

One said: “I too would like to pay my respects to a former work colleague and general all-round top bloke. Gonna miss randomly bumping into you in pubs and clubs, or at the ground. You were as safe a bloke as you could meet.”

Police are not believed to be treating Mr Skinner's death as suspicious.

Mr Skinner's funeral will be held on Thursday, February 4 at Earlham Crematorium at 9.45am. Funeral arrangements by R J Bartrum & Son, 42 Fairland Street, Wymondham, NR18 0JS.

Would you like to pay tribute to Mr Skinner in the Evening News? Ring reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk.

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