Tributes have been paid to charity fundraising legend and Manchester United super-fan Errol Warrick who has died aged 55.
Errol raised a staggering £34,000 over 33 years by collecting for good causes in his home town of Long Sutton.
The town’s Christmas lights, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance, a dog sanctuary, a young girl who needed to go overseas for medical treatment, and the dialysis unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, were among good causes which had cash from Errol’s bucket collections at Lincolnshire Co-op and the BP Garage roundabout on the A17.
Errol triumphed over autism, a disability that makes learning and talking to others very difficult, to do the “job” that he created for himself and simply loved – helping others.
His devotion to his home town meant he was given the honour of switching on its Christmas lights in 2012.
Long Sutton Business and Trade Association chairman David Pateman said: “He’s a true legend who will be sadly missed by everyone. If I could say something to Errol now it would be ‘thank you for everything that you have done for Long Sutton’.
“He was a brilliant, absolutely brilliant guy.”
Errol suffered a cardiac arrest at the home he shared with his mum, Phyllis (89), on February 18 and died the same night in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn
Phyllis said Errol’s health had been failing for the last few years as he had diabetes and kidney problems, which meant he had to travel to Queen Elizabeth Hospital three days a week for dialysis.
Being a patient prompted Errol to do what he did best – he raised £1,000 for comforts for fellow patients.
Errol’s death has sent shock waves through the town.
Phyllis has received more than 80 sympathy cards and flowers from people who knew, respected and admired the man she was proud to call her son.
She said: “It makes me cry sometimes when I see what they have written in the cards – it makes me feel that he was so wanted.
“He wasn’t a really talkative boy but he was full of talk on the last day. He kept saying he wanted people to come and see him.”
Errol’s bedroom was a shrine to Manchester United. He was only ever able to attend three of the club’s matches, but watched his team on TV, had 200 club shirts, 90 scarves, almost as many hats, and an impressive collection of banners.
He was almost always seen wearing a Man Utd shirt but had country and western shirts for his other great passion.
Errol’s football scarf collection will go to St Mary’s Church, Long Sutton, for his funeral service at 2pm on Wednesday, March 19 so people attending to celebrate his life can wear one.
Phyllis would like people to wear something red, if they want to do so, to mark Errol’s devotion to his team.
Following the service, which will be conducted by the Rev Michaela Dean and Father Jonathan Sibley, people are invited to go directly to Long Sutton Royal British Legion Club for refreshments.
The service is followed by cremation at Mintlyn, King’s Lynn, and the family will go there before going to the club.
Errol leaves family including three brothers, Rodney Brown, Julian Warrick and Neil Warrick, and three sisters, Gillian Bathurst, Sandra Turner and Shirley Smith.
l Donations, if preferred to flowers, are for the legion club. Errol supported the club because his late father, Claude, was ex-service.