Great Yarmouth man, who died of cancer on holiday, was a ‘true gentleman’

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Tributes have poured in for a popular Great Yarmouth man, who died of cancer last week while on holiday in Cyprus.

The family of Vincent 'Vinny' Sprules were shocked to hear of his death after they lost contact some years ago, but have expressed their gratitude to a close group of friends who supported Mr Sprules until the end.

Mr Sprules, 46, was diagnosed with lung cancer six months ago and flew out to the island on December 29, to soak up a few days in the sun with a friend and his family.

But he soon took a turn for the worse, and was admitted to the general hospital in Paphos on January 5. His health soon deteriorated and doctors told his friend, who did not wish to be named, that he would only last be a matter of days. He died on January 12, and his family found out after a campaign was launched to bring his body home and was reported in last week's Mercury.

When news spread back to Great Yarmouth of the situation, an online fundraising pot was started by another friend, Mattie Clark, to try and raise the £5000 needed to repatriate his body after his death. The goal was surpassed and over £6,400 was raised, which has been used to bring Mr Sprules home and pay for his funeral.

On hearing about his death his father, James Sprules, said: 'He will be missed by so many and he certainly made his mark with so many people along the way. He was truly loved and will be truly missed.

'Special thanks to everyone who made 'Vinny's' passing as peaceful as possible and for everyone who donated to give him a truly excellent send off.'

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Mr Sprules had two sisters and a brother. One of his sisters, Hiedi Collis, said: 'I'm so sad and shocked to hear of Vincent's passing, he was a doting big brother whilst growing up. I am glad he is now in a more peaceful place.

'He was never far from our thoughts and will be missed by all of his friends and especially family, who never got to say goodbye.

'We will be there raising a glass in his memory, happy knowing that he will be looking down on us whilst we share our happy memories with his friends and family, which has been made possible by everyone's generosity - thank you.'

His other sister Gaynor Newman added: 'Vincent was a brother to make you proud. He was happy and always willing to help you. He worked hard and was a true gentleman.

'He obviously made many friends in his life and everywhere he went he was known by many. He is now at rest and in a better place.'

Brother, Des Sprules, also thanked those who had made Vincent's last days comfortable.

'I would like to say thank you to all my brothers friends, for all the support you have given him, over the years he wasn't in our lives,' he said.

'All I can say is when were younger, we were typical brothers who were both as stubborn as each other. Very much a like in many ways.

'I lost touch with my brother Vince several years ago. Too many to be honest, and I never got the opportunity to meet with him, and make things right between us.

'He sounded like he has touched a lot of peoples lives, in a very positive and loving way. This will be the picture of my brother I will remember which makes me smile, and realise what a good man he was.

'It's comforting to know when Vince passed away, he had a very good friend by his side. I know he is in a better place now.'

The family will attend Mr Sprules' funeral today, Friday at Gorleston Crematorium at 1.30pm.

The GoFundMe page is still accepting donations to go towards a memorial for Mr Sprules, to donate visit www.gofundme.com/bringvinnyhome