A football club remains in mourning after the loss of a player described as a “gentle giant”.
Nicholas Wade, 33, who played for Wyke Wanderers FC since childhood, recently lost a two-year battle with a bowel condition known as ulcerative colitis.
Mr Wade died on Christmas Day while at his home with his girlfriend Charlotte Thorno and her two daughters.
Wyke Wanderers club secretary David Ryan, whose cousin is Nicholas’ mum, said: “On the pitch Nick was calm under pressure, but also a versatile player who could play in goal, defence or as a striker - a true wanderer.
“He loved his football and was well known in the football community. We’re all devastated at the club.”
Mr Ryan said the club are in “shock” after Mr Wade left St James’s Hospital in Leeds on Christmas Eve after an operation to remove his large bowel, but collapsed while at home with his girlfriend the next day.
“We’re in shock because the operation was succesful, but then he suddenly died on Christmas Day,” said Mr Ryan.
“It’s hit the family hard and we all miss him - he was a gentle giant and very laid back.
“We all know what hardships he was going through, but he never let it faze him.
“He was a very brave man and we want to use that as an example for other players within the club.”
Going forward the Wyke Wanderers will be raising money for the charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK, while Mr Ryan confirmed Carlisle United have contacted the club to arrange a charity fundraising event.