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It was his dying wish to be buried in a new shirt and now he can; CLUB TO THE RESCUE AFTER KIT WAS UNAVAILABLE.

THE dying wish of a lifelong Blues fan to be buried in his beloved team's new strip is to be granted - thanks to kind-hearted players.

Former Jaguar mechanic Chris Boggild, from Small Heath, died on Sunday after a long battle with lung cancer. He was aged just 63.

His family had wanted to fulfil his final wishes by burying him in his team's official new strip.

But they discovered manufacturing delays meant the replica shirts would not be available to the public until September 15 - and that would potentially be after the funeral.

Now, big-hearted Blues players have stepped in to help by donating one of their own matchday shirts to the family.

"It's absolutely brilliant news, we can't thank the club enough," said Chris' son Justin.

"We thought it would be no problem to get hold of a shirt, but it's been really difficult.

"Dad would be elated."

Grandfather and father-ofthree Chris had supported the club since childhood. But he had been unable to attend a game since 2013 due to his cancer, which is suspected to be linked to asbestos.

"He had supported the club all of his life," added Justin, 43, who is himself an Aston Villa fan. "He couldn't go to games recently, but he remained an avid follower.

"Growing up, I started going to Villa games because my peers were fans, so we had some friendly rivalry. Especially when Blues moved up a league in 2002 and beat us 3-0. "Dad really enjoyed that!" After Chris's death Justin contacted the Blues club's store about buying the latest shirt for his Dad's funeral, which has yet to be arranged.

But he was told that it was not possible because they would not be available to fans until September 15.

After the Birmingham Mail contacted the club, the players heard about the appeal and offered to help out.

A Blues spokesman said: "Gary Rowett, the players and all of us at the club offer our condolences to the family. We are sorry to hear of Chris' passing.

"As has been well documented, due to manufacturing and production issues, we are unfortunately unable to receive delivery of replica kit for our supporters until early next month. "However, upon hearing of the sad news of Chris' death and Justin's request, the players will provide a match shirt for the family.

"Once again, our thoughts are with Chris' family and friends."

Justin said: "Dad supported the club for 60-odd years, so it would have broken my mum's heart if we had been unable to get the new shirt for him. It was his dying wish."

He added: "The hardest part is still yet to come. As a Villa fan, I'll be wearing a Blues shirt at Dad's funeral."

CAPTION(S):

Chris Boggild died on Sunday |

| From left, Chris's daughter Jenny Lawrence, son Justin |Boggild, granddaughter Kacey Boggild, aged 10, daughter Vanessa Boggild, and granddaughter Ebony Boggild, 13

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 22, 2015
Words:487
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