Touching Euro 2020 tribute for ‘brilliant' Sheffield Wednesday fan after sudden death

A football-mad Sheffield Wednesday fan who died suddenly is being remembered in the way he would have wanted with a special Euro 2020 tribute.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 12:27 pm

John Kingswood, who died of a pulmonary embolism on June 2, has been described by his family as a ‘brilliant, loving family man’ who had an ‘infectious laugh’ and was ‘loved by everyone’.

The 60-year-old dad-of-two, who had two grandchildren and lived all his life in Woodhouse, had been preparing to watch the postponed Euro 2020 tournament and had high hopes for the young England squad aiming to end 55 years of disappointment.

A family friend is helping John be there in spirit by unfurling a huge England fan bearing his name and that of his home village alongside the crest of his beloved Owls.

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John Kingswood with the former Sheffield Wednesday forward Fernando Forestieri, one of his favourite players from recent years, whom he met during the club's pre-season in Portugal in 2017
John Kingswood with the former Sheffield Wednesday forward Fernando Forestieri, one of his favourite players from recent years, whom he met during the club's pre-season in Portugal in 2017

Spencer Starkes, who is a Blades fan but is setting aside old rivalries to remember his dear pal, flew the flag for John at Wembley during the Croatia match and will do so again at the Scotland game on Friday and the Czech Republic clash the following Tuesday.

John’s wife Gail said: “He always trims the house up with England flags whenever there’s a tournament. He’d set up an area outside to watch all the games and he was really looking forward to Euro 2020 because he thought this young England team has a real chance.

“It’s all he was talking about before he died, and it means a lot that he’s made it to the Euros with his flag flying there.”

The flag which was flown in John Kingswood's honour at England's Euro 2020 match against Croatia

Gail told how John was a construction worker who had spent 25 years working for Pete Hill Construction, could turn his hand to anything and was always willing to help those in need with their DIY projects.

He was a huge Owls fan, who followed them home and away.

Outside football, one of his big passions was the allotment in Woodhouse which he inherited from his late father Reg and had spent the last five years lovingly tending as he transformed it into a flourishing nature haven.

John Kingswood was described as a 'brilliant, loving family man'

“He was a brilliant, loving family man and a very good dad and grandfather,” said Gail.

“John was loved by everyone, he had an infectious laugh and was always up for a joke. He was really young at heart and was always messing about, playing with the grandchildren.

“He was just a very helpful person who would always lend a hand with DIY when people needed it. He was good at everything.”

John is survived by his wife Gail, daughters Stacey and Claire, and grandchildren Alfie and Olive.

His funeral will take place at Rotherham Crematorium on Friday, June 18, before which he will be going on a final ride around Woodhouse from 2pm, with anyone who knew him invited to pay their respects by taking to the streets and waving him off.

John’s favourite place was Benidorm, where he enjoyed many family holidays, and when possible his family plan to return to scatter his ashes on the same hillside there where his father’s ashes were scattered.

John’s family have asked for any donations in his memory to be made to the British Heart Foundation, which funds research related to heart and circulatory diseases and their risk factors.