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Blackburn Rovers in tribute to life-long fan Jonathan Peden killed at Lurgan work

By Laura Abernethy

Published 12/08/2016

Jonathan Peden died in a workplace incident in Lurgan
Jonathan Peden died in a workplace incident in Lurgan
The shirt that Blackburn Rovers have personalised for Jonathan

The football club that Jonathan Peden had supported throughout his life have paid a touching tribute to him after he died in a workplace accident on Thursday.

Friends were desperate to get a memorial from his beloved club and asked the Championship side if they could help.

And the Lancashire club sent a personalised home shirt, with Peden and the number one, to the family just in time for the 33-year-old's funeral on Monday.

Jonathan died in a workplace accident at Little Electrical Engineering in Lurgan on Thursday, just four weeks after his wedding.

Russell Adams, from Belfast, said he knew Jonathan through their mutual love for the football team and wanted to get one last shirt for him as the club was a big part of his life.

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He tweeted the club on Thursday, just hours after hearing the news of Jonathan’s death, to try and arrange some sort of tribute.

Remembering his friend, Russell said: “Jonathan had supported Rovers for years, like myself. My words about him are all Blackburn Rovers related.

“The best Rovers memory I have with him, is attending the dull and rainy 0-0 draw against Sunderland. He booked the flights and tickets, I booked the hotel.

“The Fernhurst put us into a double room and we laughed about it for ages and for years to follow.

"I ran for the bed as he made me a hot chocolate and put the duvet over me when I passed out.

“That was Jonathan. A true gentleman. He would do anything for anybody.

“He met the love of his life, Roisin, and married her four weeks ago. He was happy. He was looking forward to his life with her. He was an amazing friend. Tears have overcome me today, more than words.”

Following some doubt about whether the club could get the shirt here in time, Russell was going to fly to Blackburn to pick it up but on Friday morning, the club told Russell that they would do all they could to get the shirt to him to be donated to his family.

Russell added: “I and the family are very grateful of Blackburn Rovers for doing this, especially in such short notice and for the effort they are going to to get this over to Northern Ireland.”

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