Brother of man found dead on beach pays tribute to passionate Leeds United fan

Gary Simpson.
Gary Simpson.
Have your say

The brother of a man who was found dead on the beach in Cleethorpes has paid tribute to a 'generous' man who loved Leeds United.

Gary Simpson, 49, went out for a walk at around 5am on Thursday morning after watching his boyhood club's crushing defeat against Derby County in the semi-final play-offs second leg.

Gary with his older sister Anne at their mum's funeral in 2016.

Gary with his older sister Anne at their mum's funeral in 2016.

Gary, who lived in the Miles Hill area of Leeds, had been working in the Grimsby area with his nephew Daniel and brother Mark at the time.

-> Body of Leeds United fan found on Cleethorpes beach

They had been out to watch the game together along with work colleagues before heading back to their lodgings.

The alarm was not raised as Gary left for a walk, as this is something he often did to clear his head.

His body was found at 8.30am, according to Humberside Police.

Gary's brother Trevor, 54, said the family were still in shock at the news, but added: "Even though we lost, at least he got to watch Leeds United before he left us."

Gary grew up in the Meanwood area as one of six children.

-> Name of new Wetherspoons pub in Leeds chosen as tribute to one of city's industrial fathers

The four brothers - Tony, Mark, Trevor and Gary - all loved sport. He had two sisters, Anne and Paula.

Nearly all the men in the family, including Gary, went on to become roofers.

They were taken to their first Leeds United game by dad, also Trevor, and they all boxed for Meanwood Working Men's Club ABC.

"Growing up together we went to a lot of Leeds games," said Trevor. "Later on Gary got to as many games as he could.

"Obviously we were all hoping they would go up. We were gutted, but it wouldn't have been enough to make Gary do anything stupid."

Detectives are still trying to piece together his last movements.

-> TV presenter Christine Talbot makes her catwalk debut at the Great Yorkshire Show

Such was Gary's dedication to Leeds United that he did not take up their offer of a partial refund on 2016-17 when they missed out on the play-offs.

Trevor and his brother shared a season ticket and if neither of them could make the game, they let others fans on Twitter use it free of charge.

Gary did not have any children but doted on his nieces and nephews.

"He'd give his last ha'penny to anyone, that was the kind of bloke he was, generous to a fault." said Trevor. "He really looked after his nieces and nephews."

Detective Sergeant Mick Keech, of Humberside Police, said: "A post-mortem examination and forensic tests have proved inconclusive as to the cause of Mr Simpson's death.

"Our investigations are obviously still ongoing to ascertain exactly how Mr Simpson died and why he was on the beach, and we are providing regular updates to his family in West Yorkshire."

Anyone with any information about Mr Simpson's death is asked to contact Humberside Police via 101, quoting log 111 of 17/05/19.