Tributes paid to Arsenal fan who died of COVID-19 'caught at Euros final'
Emma Bartholomew and Dan Mountney
- Credit: Michael Televantou
Tributes have been paid to an Arsenal fan from Hatfield who died of COVID-19, believed to have been caught at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
Danny Bailey, who attended Arsenal's games home and away religiously over the last few decades, bagged a coveted ticket for the match which saw Italy beat England.
Although he was fully vaccinated Danny, who had a kidney transplant 13 years ago, had a compromised immune system, and fell ill five days later.
He spent five days on a ventilator in intensive care in Lister Hospital, Stevenage, before he died on July 30.
There has been a massive outpouring of tributes for Danny on social media, and over £7,500 has been raised for his funeral.
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His mum, Jacky Day, said she was "gobsmacked by the response on social media".
"We knew Danny was crazy about football. His dad hated football, but I was an Arsenal fan, so I had to take him to all the matches when he was small," she said.
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"We have an Arsenal coffin that is being made, we have flowers saying 'Gooner', and we are all wearing Arsenal shirts for his funeral. He is being buried in the shirt I bought him when he was first in hospital with Covid, with the number nine on the back.
"I didn't realise he would be buried in it.
"We always said Danny had nine lives, and this was his ninth time that he nearly lost his life.
"We thought he would pull through because it was the ninth time."
His friend Michael Televantou said: "We think he contracted it at Wembley when he was there for the Euro cup final. Five days later he tested positive and not long after that he was in hospital."
Michael set up the crowdfunder to help with funeral costs and to "give him the proper send-off he deserves". Any excess funds will be donated to a charity of his family's choice.
"Not everyone knew Danny had a kidney transplant and I think that inspired him to live life within his limits," said Michael.
"He was mega social, and he didn't even have to know you and he'd come up and say hello and introduce himself.
"The community of away fans is only about 1,500 to 2,000 people who go regularly and I'd say most of them knew who who he was.
"He wasn't the brightest or the richest but he always had a smile on his face and that for me is what made him special."
To donate to the crowdfunder, click here.