A FUNDRAISING appeal to support the widow of a popular Northallerton Town Football Club kit man has raised more than £1,500 since being launched.

Andy ‘Benny’ Curtis has been kit man at the club for most of the last ten years. Mr Curtis died last week following complications with his bowel and heart.

A Just Giving page set up in his memory said: “Despite being diabetic and having serious heart problems he was always available to help wherever and whomever he could.

“Almost three weeks ago, on Sunday, July 28 he was rushed from his home in Brompton, near Northallerton, to James Cook University Hospital with severe bowel problems.

“He was operated on and despite coming through that operation he now had problems with his heart. Various other problems ensued and Andy suffered numerous infections, and many resuscitation attempts before his gallant fight came to an end on August 14.

“All at Northallerton Town FC will miss him, his larger than life character, his humour and his great ability to wind people up. Above all he was a generous and benevolent man to all around him.

“Sadly, because of his health problems, Andy had no opportunity to gather a pension for his old age.

“Last year Andy married Nikki and after these weeks of pain and difficult the club want to show their affection and regard for Andy by helping Nikki through the difficult times ahead.”

Tributes to Mr Curtis were also paid by Richmond Town Football Club.

It said: “It is with immense sadness to inform you about the passing of a friend of the club, Andrew ‘Benny’ Curtis.

“His dear friend, Noel Russell, who writes our match reports said, 'Andy was one in a million and would do anything for anyone, he loved his football'.

“We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Andy’s family and all who knew him at this sad time.”

To support the fundraising appeal, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/peter-young-1.