Obituary: Geoff Cornwall, 41

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GEOFF Cornwall, vice-president of Dunbar United Football Club and a Labour activist, has died, aged 41

Born at the Vert Memorial Hospital in Haddington, Mr Cornwall lived in Dunbar all his life.

He grew up in the town’s Castle Street with his late father, John, mother Millie and elder brother John and later lived in Custom House Square.

He went to Dunbar Primary School and Dunbar Grammar School and worked first at Mitsubishi in Haddington before switching to banking.

He was a lifelong fan of Dunbar United, but became a key figure in the football club a few years ago.

He was serving as acting treasurer when earlier this year the struggling club received a generous £10,000 donation from former merchant banker Bill Huggan, 82, who now lives in Kent but wanted to help out his hometown side.

Club secretary Kit Fraser said the town was in mourning following Mr Cornwall’s death.

He said: “Everyone was stunned. Geoff was at the heart of the community. Everyone knew him.

“He was the kindest, friendliest and most generous person you could wish to meet.”

Mr Fraser he had become good friends with Mr Cornwall as a result of agreeing to help Dunbar United through its difficulties.

“In a matter of weeks we found ourselves secretary and acting treasurer and our friendship strengthened in tackling each emerging issue.

“More recently Geoff’s continuing commitment was one of the main reasons Dunbar United confounded the critics who predicted the club would collapse this season.

“Only a month or two ago, that commitment saw him join me in an exhausting 18-hour drive to London and back, to visit Bill Huggan in Kent. We had decided that we had to personally shake the hand of our generous benefactor, as well as present him with some Dunbar United keepsakes. Bill took to Geoff immediately and was deeply saddened when I broke the news to him.”

On Dunbar United’s Facebook page, club goalkeeper Conor Wood said: “Geoff, my man, we are going to win the league for you next season. You were my biggest supporter and I’ll never forget that.”

Mr Cornwall was also a leading light in East Lothian Labour Party. MSP Iain Gray said: “Geoff was a real Dunbar man as well as a true Labour stalwart, a dedicated supporter and a good friend, who had been an excellent chair of the local party over the last few years.”

He was a railway enthusiast too, and for his 40th birthday friends had arranged an opportunity for him to drive his favourite class of train, a Deltic locomotive.

Mr Cornwall was taken ill on Saturday and admitted to hospital, but died the next day. His funeral will take place on Tuesday.