Gone way too soon, tributes pour in for tragic dad-of-three Frankie Ward
Friends of a father-of-three who died suddenly on Tuesday have remembered him as a "gentle and genuine man".
Frankie Ward (31) from Ballymena was a huge boxing fan and well-known on the circuit across Northern Ireland.
Members of the boxing community paid tribute to him on social media.
Belfast Boxers said: "Heart is broke on hearing the news that our Belfast Boxers friend Frankie Ward from Ballymena has died; great young man who leaves behind a young family.
"Condolences to everyone who knew him. Lovely man, was always good to talk to him about his love for the sport of boxing. Rest In Peace Frankie."
Irish Boxing News added: "RIP Ballymena's Frankie Ward. Massive boxing fan and an absolute gentleman. Big loss to the boxing community."
Ballymena champion boxer Steven Donnelly, winner of the 2014 National Championships and Commonwealth Games bronze medal winner, said Mr Ward was a "gentleman" who would be missed.
Friends also posted memories and messages of support for his family.
Joanne Dooey wrote on Facebook: "He truly was a gent and loved his family so, so much. My thoughts and prayers to u and ur family! I just can't believe it!
"Such a genuine fella, who had a huge heart... He's one of a kind and is a huge loss to the world! Gone way too soon before his time R.I.P angel."
Samantha Louise Crozier added: "Seriously waking up today thinking what I heard last night would all just be a nightmare. I'm gutted reading through your messages and you were a true gentle man, you always knew how to cheer me up. You will be sadly missed. Proud to say I knew you, my thoughts are with your family". And Carla Brown wrote: "RIP Frankie, you truly had a heart of gold xx".
Mr Ward is survived by his children, Kyree, Kezzia and Frankee, and eight brothers and sisters. Requiem Mass will be celebrated at All Saints Church in Ballymena tomorrow with burial in the town's cemetery.