Widow so pleased by support

Maureen and Brian Filby
Maureen and Brian Filby

THE widow of a dedicated Hartlepool United fan who died suddenly has paid tribute to the “wonderful” people who have offered their support.

Brian Filby tragically died after suffering a massive heart attack at Victoria Park ahead of a league match last month.

Brian Filby with grandchildren Natasha and Christian at the play-off final in 2005

Brian Filby with grandchildren Natasha and Christian at the play-off final in 2005

The death of the 72-year old came as a huge shock to family and friends and hundreds packed into a church to pay their final respects at Brian’s funeral.

His devastated wife, Maureen, 61, told the Mail that the messages of goodwill are still flooding in even now.

She said: “The support over the last couple of weeks has just been fantastic.

“I can’t put it into words how lovely people have been.

“Brian had an impact on a lot of people, that has been obvious.

“But I just can’t believe the response of people and I would just like to say thank you.”

Brian, who is a dad-of-two and a step-dad of two, lived in Hartlepool for the majority of his life before he moved to Billingham around 10 years ago.

The retired engineer followed Hartlepool United home and away and took his grandchildren along with him to one of his proudest moments as a Pools fan, the play-off final at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in 2005.

After his death, Maureen went along to a game at Victoria Park as a special guest of the club, a day which she described as a “special experience”.

“I’ll be honest, beforehand I didn’t want to go,” she said.

“It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate what the club were doing, I just thought it would be really difficult.”

“But I’m glad I did.

“Pools won 1-0 and scored the winner with two minutes left to play.

“When the winning goal went in a man who I had never seen before came up to me, hugged me and said that one was for Brian.

“It was such a nice touch and it really did mean a lot.”

Maureen had another trip to The Vic on Saturday, where she stood in the Town End for the very first time for the game with MK Dons.

She added: “Brian always stood in the same spot in the Town End so we thought it would be nice to go and do that for him.

“It would make him proud.”

It isn’t just the football club and fans who have paid their tributes to Brian.

Maureen received a call from the RAF, who Brian served for, offering it support.

And she said she has had a number of calls and messages from people offering their respect.

She added: “It’s lovely to get so much support.”