Coronavirus vaccine: 34-year-old sceptic father and popular football coach dies after battling with Covid-19

Tributes have been paid to a popular football coach from Bradford who died after fighting for his life with Covid-19.

Matthew Keenan's battle with the virus was highlighted earlier this month by a doctor at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, showing how he was being treated for the virus after admitting he was sceptical about the vaccine.

Dr Leanne Cheyne, a lung specialist at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, wrote: "Matthew, has agreed for me to share his story, 34, footie coach & dad. Self-confessed vaccine skeptic until he caught Covid..."

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In a touching tribute, friend of more than 20 years Billy Brown said the world lost ‘the kindest man’. The 38-year-old added that ‘grown men haven’t stopped crying’ since the news of Matthew's tragic death broke.

Matthew was a ‘devoted dad, a fantastic friend, and an unbeatable coach’ according to Billy.

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Billy, also from Bradford, said: “As he was getting more poorly, he said he wished he had gotten the jab. I can’t believe he’s gone, he was the most likeable lad I’ve ever met.

“Most people have one or two best friends, he had 20 best friends. He had the biggest heart and treated everyone like they were his family.

The image of Matthew Keenan which was tweeted out by Dr Leanne Cheyne (Credit: Twitter/Dr Leanne Cheyne)

“There were not many like him. He loved to enjoy himself, he was the life and soul of every party. Many people will miss him.”

Billy was left in tears after he learned of his friend’s death as he clung on to hope that he would still make it.

He said that when he first caught the virus everyone believed Matthew would get over it as he was a ‘fighter and a survivor’.

Billy added: “We all thought it was Keenan, he’d get over this. Then he got put into a coma, and we were all praying for him. But we thought he was a fighter, a survivor. I’m a big strong lad, I’ve lost people before, but I’ve never cried so much as I did today as I did for anyone.”

And a number of football clubs and organisations have since paid tribute to the 34-year-old following his death.

Bradford Sunday Alliance Football League wrote on Facebook: "Wow a shock this morning, waking up to the devastating news that Matthew Keenan has passed away, such a top lad gone too soon. Respected by everyone. My heart goes out to all his family at this sad time RIP big man and sleep tight."

Toller FC, which is also based in Bradford, wrote: "Everyone at the club are saddened to hear the death of Bradford legend Matthew Keenan.

"Tragic news to wake up to. The guy was a gem. Always smiling and put his heart and soul into Station Fc on a Sunday. Devastated for his partner and children. Life is way too short.

"Don’t hold any grudges it’s not expensive to be kind. Hold onto your family and loved ones whilst you can."

Rap group Bad Boy Chiller Crew wrote to its 716,000 followers on Facebook to say: "Cant believe were writing this but Bradford has lost a absolute legend RIP @matthewlukekeenan you will always be remembered in all of our hearts until we meet again..."

And mental health support group The Speak In Club added on Twitter: "Absolutely gutted to hear of the passing of my mate Matthew Keenan Genuinely one of the nicest people you will ever meet and the life and soul.of everything. He lit up everywhere he stepped."