Tributes for former Prem official Andy Newbold after he died aged 47 and was part of Darren Bent 'beach ball goal'

FORMER Premier League official Andy Newbold has died aged 47.

Father of three Newbold passed away at his home in late November, after he contracted a rare germ cell cancer in his chest.

He was infamously part of the team that officiated the 2010 Premier League game between Sunderland and Liverpool, which saw Darren Bent's shot deflect off a beach ball past Pepe Reina for a goal.

His wife Sharon revealed the cancer he had normally only affects children and young adults.

"He was very sick and was in intensive care on three occasions. The first being for three weeks," she told the Leicester Mercury.

"Andy suffered three cardiac arrests, one at home, and amazingly he kept fighting back.

"He was desperate to get better for myself and our children and there’s nothing I wouldn’t have done to help him.

"He began to look like he was winning his battle, his tumour markers returned to normal, but cruelly the cancer had transformed and had been silently progressing. He died at home, I was desperate to keep him at home as that was his wish.

"I brought him back from hospital whenever I could in between treatment, sometimes this would be in the early hours but it was what Andy wanted and the caring staff who became very fond of him would let this happen."

Newbold worked as a carpet-fitter alongside his duties as a Premier League official.

His wife of 18 years revealed that he often laughed about the beach ball incident.

Ex-ref Dave Allison described Newbold as "a simply lovely man. A distinguished assistant referee of the highest integrity and the family can be proud of his achievements."

His children's former school Sacred Heart Loughborough have said they will now dedicate an annual sports award called the 'Andy Newbold Cup' in his honour to their students.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up – with the current total of £10,755 at time of writing already exceeding its £5,300 target.

His funeral was held on December 11, as friends, family and well-wishers lined up on the streets of Loughborough to applaud his hearse as it made its way around town.

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