THE family of a football fan who died while watching his beloved Reds at Oakwell earlier this month have thanked well-wishers for an outpouring of support.

Jeffrey Wroe fell ill at Oakwell in the latter stages of Barnsley’s 2-2 draw with Derby County on October 2 - an incident which prompted his fellow fans into action when a Just Giving page was set up just hours after his death.

Fans from clubs across the country also donated following the harrowing incident, resulting in about £4,000 being raised which the family say will be split up for several charities including the Firefighters’ Benevolent Fund, the Guide Dogs Charity and the NSPCC.

The 66-year-old, who was a regular at Oakwell in the Ponty End, was a former steel worker but had a stint in the Royal Navy before spending almost 30 years as a firefighter.

The family’s statement said: “First and foremost we would like to express our gratitude to St John’s Ambulance and the stadium’s doctor for their immediate response to the incident. The medical staff did all they could to save Jeff’s life but the coroner revealed that he died instantly and nothing more could have been done. Throughout the difficult time of dealing with our bereavement the club have been amazing in their support, continually reaching out to us, and representatives were regularly in touch.”

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Peter Amos, the club’s chaplain, spoke at Jeffrey’s funeral last Thursday which was also attended by players, executives and coaching staff.

“We also wish to extend our thanks to Andy Goodwin, the supporter who set up the Just Giving page and all those who donated. It is appropriate that a substantial amount of the money donated should go to the Firefighters’ Benevolent Fund. The remainder of the money will be donated to the Guide Dogs Charity - Jeff donated to this charity on a monthly basis - and the NSPCC.”

St John Ambulance will also receive a donation from the money collected at the funeral.