Manchester

England fan dies on dream World Cup trip

George Walker and his granddaughter Bethany
Image caption George Walker had saved his retirement money for the trip

An England fan died while on his dream trip to watch the World Cup - without having the chance to see a single game.

George Walker, 65, of Blackley, Manchester, suffered a heart attack in Johannesburg, South Africa, a week before the tournament started.

Mr Walker, who was staying with his brother-in-law, had been having lunch when he collapsed on 4 June.

His funeral will be held on Wednesday in Blackley, the same day England play their crucial match against Slovenia.

'Say goodbye'

His daughter, Vicky Wheeler, said: "I was in Bury market when I got a phone call with the news.

"I could not believe it, it was horrendous. All I could think about was getting back, booking a ticket and flying out there to bring him home."

She did not have to, as his body was flown back six days later.

Mr Walker, who used to work as a forklift truck driver, had saved his retirement money for the trip.

Image caption Vickey Wheeler said her daughter Bethany is devastated

His family had bought him an England shirt with 65 and "George" on the back for the trip.

"He was so excited about it," Ms Wheeler said.

"He told everybody he met he was flying out to watch England.

"I just hope they win against Slovenia, I hope they win for my dad."

The mother-of-two said her eldest child, 10-year-old Bethany, was absolutely devastated that she had lost her grandfather.

"I think it will hit me after the funeral, but at the moment it just seem so surreal.

"I'm just glad we have him back home so we can say goodbye properly."

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