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Wolves and West Brom fans honour ‘gentle giant’ after sudden death

By Tom Oakley | Cradley | News | Published:

Rival football fans put their differences aside to pay tribute to a ‘gentle giant’ Wolves fan in a memorial cricket match.

Fans let off gold and black smoke bombs at the match to honour Wolves supporter Gary Hackett

Wolves and Baggies supporters came together in memory of Gary ‘Bobo’ Hackett, 53, who died suddenly last month.

The ‘loving’ father, from Old Hill, Cradley Heath, died two weeks ago.

On Sunday, a memorial event was organised at Old Hill Cricket Club – with hundreds turning up throughout the day.

The final amount has not yet been counted but it is expected to have raised £6,000 for his family and towards his funeral.

Gary 'Bobo' Hackett died suddenly aged 53

Friends and family of Gary let off gold and black smoke bombs on the day – filling the sky with the famous colours of his beloved club.

Wayne Dickinson, a committee member at the cricket club and a friend of Mr Hackett’s for more than three decades, helped organise the event.

The 49-year-old from Old Hill said: “He was a gentle giant. I’ve never known a lad so strong in my life.

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“He was just a really nice bloke, which shows when that many people turned up.

"He was a big Wolves fan. Albion won the cricket on the day but it’s just one of those things.

The event was held at Old Hill Cricket Club

"There were a lot of Albion fans there because a lot of his mates supported them. He was a big character.

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"We normally have a Help for Heroes cricket match but because of the shock death we decided to have a match for him.

“It went really well. I’ve spoke to people who reckon there was between 800 and 1,000 there.

“I’ve got a rough idea of how much we raised and its around £6,000, which will go towards his funeral and to help his family out.”

Gary’s son Beau Hackett was at the event to pay tribute to his father, who worked as a carpenter and general builder.

A Crowdfunding page has also been launched following his death, raising £900 in his memory.

To donate go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/emma-cartwright-2

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Express & Star reporter responsible for covering Walsall and Staffordshire. Got a story? Email tom.oakley@expressandstar.co.uk or call 01902 319482.

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