Tributes and sorrow follow tragic death of popular Cromer man Jamie McCann

Jamie McCann. Picture: SUBMITTED

Jamie McCann. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

Shockwaves have been breaking through Cromer following the tragic death of a popular resident.

Jamie McCann pictured a few years ago in a Liverpool FC shirt. Picture: SUBMITTED

Jamie McCann pictured a few years ago in a Liverpool FC shirt. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

The body of devoted dad and huge football fan Jamie McCann, who was suffering from depression, was found in Thetford Forest.

Grieving friends are planning a memorial charity football match in his honour and it is hoped it will become an annual event.

Mr McCann, 42, of Tucker Street, grew up in Cromer, attending the infants, junior and high schools in the town.

After leaving school he worked as a driver for a number of firms and was with North Walsham-based Drury's Transport at the time of his death.

A divorcee with daughters Lily 13, and Poppy, 11, Jamie was the youngest of Ann and Ray McCann's three children and had a sister and brother, Sharon and Gavin.

He was a lifelong Liverpool Football Club fan and the club's stirring anthem You'll Never Walk Alone will be played at his funeral in Cromer Parish Church, on September 15 at 2pm.

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And friends have all signed a Liverpool FC shirt which will be buried with Mr McCann in Cromer Cemetery.

A keen footballer in his younger days, Mr McCann played at all levels of Cromer Youth FC and went on to play men's football with East Runton, Southrepps, Gimingham and Cromer Town FC, according to his good friend John Davies.

A highlight of his footballing career came when Cromer reached the County Cup final which was played at Norwich City FC's Carrow Road ground.

The team which played that day will come together for a charity match in his memory at Cromer Town's Cabbell Park ground on October 23.

They will play against a side including Mr McCann's brother Gavin, nephew Ross and members of other teams he played with over the years.

Mr McCann's devotion to Liverpool FC included following them all over the country and when they were in Norwich in 2014 to play The Canaries, he waited at Sprowston Manor Hotel for several hours, having heard rumours that the Liverpool squad would be staying there.

The hunch paid off and he was able to get photos, including ones of his player hero, Steven Gerrard.

'You couldn't tell him anything about Liverpool that he didn't already know,' said his father.

Jamie McCann was also a devoted fan of the band Oasis, travelling all over the country to attend their gigs.

'He was quiet, kind-natured and the most loving and devoted dad. He loved spending time with Lily and Poppy,' said Mr Davies. 'He had a good sense of humour and was very funny – he always made you smile.'

Mrs McCann said she had been overwhelmed and touched by the number of Facebook tributes posted about her son following his death. 'We never realised how much people thought of him,' she added.

An inquest into Mr McCann's death was opened in Norwich on August 23. Assistant Norfolk coroner Johanna Thompson said he had stopped at a retail park in Thetford Forest and his body was found close to his lorry on August 18.

The cause of death, pending toxicology reports, was given as hanging with depression as a contributory factor.

A full inquest will take place on February 1 2017.

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