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Tributes to West Brom fan following death waiting for heart transplant

By Richard Guttridge | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Tributes have poured in for a West Brom fan who has died aged 23 waiting for a heart transplant.

Jim Lynskey with former Albion captain Darren Fletcher

The story of Albion-mad Jim Lynskey reached far and wide and touched many, including singing star Lewis Capaldi and ex-Baggies boss Tony Pulis.

The club led tributes to Jim who died on Monday following complications with his heart pump which kept him alive.

After hearing his story while in charge at The Hawthorns, Pulis called on football fans to become organ donors.

Jim also helped inspire the video for Capaldi's smash hit Someone You Loved, which recently spent seven weeks at number one and features relative and Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi.

WATCH the video here:

Lewis Capaldi - Someone You Loved

Jim launched his own organisation, Save9Lives, to raise awareness of his situation and others desperately waiting for organ donations.

He was forced to carry a life-saving pump in his pocket to keep him alive but, despite his condition, followed Albion home and away when he was well enough to do so.

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Jim, from Alvechurch, was invited to meet Pulis and the Baggies players in 2015 and spoke at a press conference when the then-manager wore an organ donor t-shirt highlighting his plight. The club made him their Fans' Champion a year later.

The Baggies fan said at the time: "Hopefully it's not forever."

And of Pulis, he added: "I could have cried in here. It was just mad, I have never met someone so charitable."

Save9Lives announced Jim's death on Twitter and said: "We are devastated to let you know that our beautiful boy, Jim Lynskey, the founder of Save9Lives passed away peacefully. Jim had some complications with a procedure involving his LVAD heart pump. He was still on the waiting list for a heart transplant.

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"Jim's LVAD was always seen as a bridge to transplant when it was fitted in 2015. Unfortunately the shortage of hearts in the UK meant he never had the chance to get a new life off batteries.

"Many of Jim's organs failed during his deterioration, but we hope Jim will be able to benefit another person in need with the donation of his tissues and corneas, which were recovered from him this morning.

"We know the sadness and pain this will bring to his family, friends, and even the people he only met for just a brief time through his work with this campaign, which Jim started all by himself after his first pump fitting. Now all of our hearts are broken."

West Brom said: "This is such devastating news and our deepest condolences. Jim was a true champion of the Albion family.

"We were honoured to welcome him as our Fans’ Champion back in December, 2016."

Dozens of other tributes have flooded in online.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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