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Tributes as Blues man dies at 43; SUPER-FIT EX-EVERTON CHIEF COLLAPSED WHILE ON A RUN.

Byline: LUKE TRAYNOR Chief Reporter luke.traynor@trinitymirror.com @LUKETRAYNORECHO

Call the newsdesk on 0151 472 2436 TRIBUTES have been paid to former Everton in the Community boss Gary Townsend, who has died while on holiday.

The 43-year-old collapsed during an early morning run on Monday while in Spain with his partner, Hannah.

Friends said super-fit Mr Townsend was in training for an Iron Man event.

He was currently working for Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, but still had many friends in Liverpool.

Got a story? Call the on 0151 472 An Everton spokesman said: "It is with immense sadness that the club has learned of the sudden passing of former Everton in the Community Chief Executive Gary Townsend. "Gary, who also served as Everton's Head of HR and Chairman of the Everton Tigers Basketball team, collapsed during an early morning run. "After leaving Everton, Gary became Chief Executive of Notts County Football Club, before working as a consultant for a number of sports teams and charities.

"He had most recently been an employee at Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, and was only appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Seagulls' community programme earlier this month.

"The thoughts of everybody at Everton are with Gary's family and many, many friends at this sad time."

Brighton & Hove Albion bosses described Mr Townsend as "hard working, effective, and extremely popular." The club added: "We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Gary's partner, his family, and friends at this incredibly sad and difficult time for them."

Mr Townsend was well-known for his fundraising challenges and recently aimed to raise PS5,000 for his Iron Man bid.

Earlier this month, he cycled from Brighton to Brussels to raise money for Albion's disability sport programme. And, last year, Mr Townsend helped raise PS7,000 when he ran a marathon in Brighton while pushing a team member's newsdesk 2436 wheelchair along the whole of the 26-mile route.

Martyn Best, who worked with Mr Townsend during their time with basketball side Everton Tigers, described his pal as a "great guy" whose death was a "massive loss."

He added: "Gary was full of energy and had great drive and charisma.

"He was an extremely likeable guy and could really carry people along with his vision and ideas.

"He got the best out of people."

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Super-fit: Gary Townsend died on holiday

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Jun 28, 2016
Words:396
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