The family of a life-long Wanderers fan have paid tribute to a “very kind and generous” person who loved life, following his tragic death during a game.

Iain Purslow, 71, was at the Wanderers game against Cheltenham Town when he suffered a suspected cardiac arrest around 30 minutes into the game at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Iain’s son Stuart says that family and friends are all “heartbroken”, but that the “love and support shown by Bolton Wanderers Football Club (BWFC) and the wider community has been a great comfort”.

Iain’s fiancée Daryl said: “I feel that I have lost the love of my life and my soulmate.

“It's hard to comprehend a life without him.

The Bolton News: Cheltenham Town fans made this banner for last week's game Cheltenham Town fans made this banner for last week's game (Image: Camera, Sport)“He was the warmest person you could meet."

Stuart added: “Dad meant the world to his family; he would help them in any way that he could and was very proud of all of us.

“He was someone that we could rely on in any situation and knew how to put a smile on your face.”

Iain was raised in Horwich and lived there until his late 20s, where he would return regularly to visit friends and family. 

Iain had ‘proudly’ served as a police officer for over 30 years and achieved the rank of sergeant.

He was based in many different locations including Leigh and Bury and “seemed to bump into a fellow police officer wherever he went”.

Later in life he worked for the civil service in the Passport Office based in Manchester.

Daryl says that in his retirement Iain lived life to the full, and widely travelled throughout the world, coaching junior football teams. 

Stuart said: “Iain was a very kind and generous person.

“He was caring and considerate and was somebody who would put other people first.

“He was proud to have served his community as a police officer."

Iain started following Wanderers in 1960 after his uncle Arthur, who was a massive fan, took him to his first game at Burnden Park.

Stuart added: “He loved BWFC and followed them home and away for many years.

“He made sure both his children followed Wanderers and loved taking them to the match.” 

Stuart says he loved life and had a wide range of interests including music, which mainly included The Beach Boys and 60s, as well as a love for football, cricket, and rugby.

Iain loved to travel anywhere but particularly the USA.

Stuart added: “He loved spending time with his family, particularly his grandchildren.”

Daryl added: “He loved participating in pub quizzes with me and was an integral part of the ‘Swan Uppers’ team.”

The thing that Stuart will miss most about his dad is going to the football and sitting and “talking rubbish” together at the match.

He added: “Personally I'll miss going to the football with him.

“We will miss his ability to make us all laugh and support us when we needed it most.”

Daryl says she will miss everything about him, especially the time spent exploring the world, and the many moments they shared.

Iain lived with Daryl for more than 22 years, and has two children Julie, and Stuart, as well as two stepchildren, Leighton, and Carolyn.

Iain’s funeral will be held on Tuesday February 6 from 1pm at Howe Bridge Crematorium.

The family have since set a Just Giving page up to help raise funds for Bolton Wanderers in the Community.

Click here ( to help support them.

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