Source: Manchester Evening News
TRIBUTES have been paid to one of the founders of FC United who died following an accident after he had gone to watch an away match.
Fred Garner, 29, from Chorlton, was discovered with a serious head injury at the foot of a fire escape outside the Rex Hotel, in Whitley Bay.
He was a founding member of FC United, the football club set up by breakaway fans following Malcolm Glazer's takeover of Manchester United.
Fred had gone to the north east to see FC United's 4-0 win against Newcastle Blue Star on April 19 and was found collapsed at 5am the following morning.
He underwent major surgery at Newcastle General Hospital, but died on Monday evening. It is thought he may have fallen on the fire escape.
Today his father Kevin Garner paid tribute to a son who `loved his football' and was `loved by everyone he knew'.
Mr Garner, 53, had travelled with Fred to watch FC United's match against Blue Star and was staying with him at the same hotel.
He said: "We went everywhere together, watching Manchester United and then watching FC United.
"The last time I hugged him was after the Newcastle Blue Star match, as we were watching Manchester United on TV in the bar. It was a moment I will never forget."
Tributes to Fred, who worked with his dad in the gas industry, have also been paid on FC United and Manchester United fans' forums.
A minute's silence was held by more than 1,500 fans before FC United's midweek match against Woodley Sports.
Mr Garner added: "He just loved everything about FC United. The minute's silence that was held for him was fantastic. It was observed impeccably. Fred had lots of friends and he was loved by everyone."
FC United, who play their home matches at Bury's Gigg Lane stadium, are chasing promotion in the UniBond First Division North. They were playing their last league fixture of the season today. (SAT)
Northumbria Police said Fred's death is not being treated as suspicious. A file has been prepared for the coroner.