Yaslam Abari passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Friday, June 10 and his funeral at the Message Islamic Information Centre was attended by over 800 people, who wanted to pay their respects and express their thanks for his community work.
Hend Alyazeedi, a family friend of Mr Abari, said: “Upon finishing the prayers, Tesco car park next to the Mosque was jammed for a while because everybody was trying to follow the coffin.
“Children requested permission from school to be given leave after lunch to attend because of the impact he had on them as well.”
Mr Abari was a husband, a father of two children, aged four and six, and well known in Sheffield as a dedicated football coach at Zest.
His wife Arwa said she had lost a “best friend”.
Mr Abari coached a group of boys who played for Upperthorpe United when they were in year six and continued
this until they were in year 1 0.
Even though the boys are now young men, some at university and others in work, he would still run a football session every Saturday for them to attend.
Mrs Alyazeedi said: “Most of the boys didn’t have transport and he was happy to take them in his van.
“He would always bring sweets and chocolates to cheer the boys up. When they won it was phenomenal. Even though he was going to watch the boys play football, the boys were entertained by watching him because of the sheer passion that he had through supporting them.
“He wasn’t only just their coach; he was like their brother or father. He was everything to the boys.”
Mr Abari was also a keen swimmer and cyclist.
He would take his son out on bike rides a couple of times a week and would do whatever his children needed.
He ran Baxters, a shop in Crookes, and his first job was delivering the Sheffield Star while he was still a schoolboy.
Abdul Abdulrub, Director at Zest, said: “He mentored the boys in a way that earned him high respect and obedience from them. His contribution to the Upperthorpe community was greatly appreciated.”
Ali Kassim, assistant coach, said: “Yaz was like an older brother, his legacy will forever live. He got things done without a fuss and diffused any problems instantly. No one could argue back because he was honest and fair.”
Nawel Obied, Mr Abari’s sister-in-law, who attended school with him at West Ways Primary and then at King Edwards, said: “His death shocked the core of every person who he crossed paths with him, whether it was for a moment or for a lifetime.
“When he laughed, his laughter would fill the room and you forget all your worries playing on your mind. He was bigger than life itself, and his loss cannot be compensated because his shoes are too big to fill due to his generosity and kindness, he always went over and beyond his means.”
Funds of approximately £1,500 will be sent to a charity organisation to build a well in his name in Africa.