Tributes pour in after 17-year-old Lostock Hall JFC coach loses his brain tumour battle

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Lostock Hall Juniors FC is mourning the loss of its 17-year-old Under 10 Reds coach, Edward Gregory following a 'courageous and brave' battle against a brain tumour.

Better known as Eddie, he was diagnosed with a non-germinomatous germ cell tumour of the pineal gland in his brain in March last year.

Edward Gregory with former BWFC goalkeeper Mark Howard. Credit: BWFC

Edward Gregory with former BWFC goalkeeper Mark Howard. Credit: BWFC

He began playing football at the age of six and became the club's coach at the age of 14 after helping his dad Chris coach the under six's academy five years ago.

During the 2016/17 season the team were awarded the Green Card Respect Winners at the national Don't X The Line Respectability Awards 2017. Eddie was also the Runner Up and Highly Commended Young Volunteer of the Year 2018 at the South Ribble Sports Awards.

Tributes were flooding in over the weekend on social media.

Joanne Burrow said "A lovely young man who played in the same team as my son at Cadley FC for several years, we are all so sad that Ed lost his battle. Our love and prayers are with his family and friends."

His former club, Cadley FC said he was a "Fantastic young man , our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time"

The Bolton, Bury and District Football League tweeted "Such a sad loss felt by all. Words can be meaningless at times like these but the football family will wrap their arms around you.

Born in Bolton, Eddie moved to Lostock Hall when he was a baby but remained a 'huge' Bolton Wanderers fan and in recent years acted as a ball boy for the club for two seasons following on from training with the club's academy.

Last year Eddie had a surprise visit by the-then Bolton goalkeeper Mark Howard to the family home whilst he was undergoing chemotherapy at The Christie Hospital in Manchester.

Following the death of Eddie, Lostock Hall JFC released a statement and said: "It is with deep sorrow and sadness that Lostock Hall Juniors FC must announce the passing of Under 10 Reds Coach Edward (Eddie) Gregory.

"Eddie was much loved by the Under 10 Reds and all at the club, to which he dedicated much of his time, either as a coach, referee or volunteer at the club's annual tournaments.

"Eddie, along with his dad who is the team manager, always encouraged the players and was a great ambassador for LHJFC. Eddie was a well-respected and valued member of the the club, which is an exceptional thing to earn at such a young age.

"This was due to his mature attitude and the excellent way he interacted with his older peers, as well as the young players within the team.

"We have been extremely lucky to have had Eddie in our lives and as a part of our club and his politeness, respectfulness and friendship have all had a positive effect on the players and coaches who knew him.

"Gone far too soon, he had his whole life in front of him. We will always remember you Eddie for your fantastic personality and huge cheeky smile.

"Our deepest condolences are sent to his dad Chris, mum Keeley, brother Rob, all of the family and his team at this heart-breaking time. Rest In Peace Eddie, you will always be missed."