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Football fans tribute to heart attack victim

PUBLISHED: 13:56 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:38 25 August 2010

DEVASTATED: Gerald Kent's girlfriend Emma Greenhill and sister Barbara Johnson.

DEVASTATED: Gerald Kent's girlfriend Emma Greenhill and sister Barbara Johnson.

THE sister of a football fan who died in police custody has paid tribute to her larger than life brother. Gerald Kent, 51, of Mainridge Road, Chislehurst, died last month after being arrested in Vicarage Road, Bexley Village,

THE sister of a football fan who died in police custody has paid tribute to her 'larger than life' brother.

Gerald Kent, 51, of Mainridge Road, Chislehurst, died last month after being arrested in Vicarage Road, Bexley Village, on suspicion of drink driving.

The father-of-four was a devoted Millwall FC fan and was well known amongst supporters and players.

His sister, Barbra Johnson, also of Mainridge Road, said she has received calls of sympathy from friends across the world.

Mrs Johnson, 50, said: "We have had so much support, we can not thank everyone at Millwall and all his pals enough.

"Gerald was a comedian. He made everyone laugh when he saw them. When you were down he would crack a joke and make you smile.

"Our mum died 18 months ago and he was an absolute brick. I was my mother's full-time carer and he hardly left me since she died.

"There was nothing you couldn't like about him."

Mr Kent was returning home to his girlfriend of 10 years, Emma Greenhill, when he was taken to Bexley police station after being breathalysed.

A post mortem revealed that he died from asphyxiation, leading to a heart attack.

Miss Greenhill, manager of a Burberry store in New Bond Street, was waiting for Mr Kent to come home with a takeaway when he was arrested.

She said: "At 11.30pm he rang to say he had been breathalysed so could I pick him up later. He sounded fine.

"I was shocked when I found out because I had only just spoken to him. I feel devastated. However, we are just so pleased that his friends keep on ringing. His friends at Millwall have sorted everything out for me. They all have a funny story about him."

Peter Garson, Millwall FC's fans director said Mr Kent was part of the club's family.

He leaves behind four daughters aged between 12 and 32, three sisters, Barbra, Susan and Katie, and his brother, Norman.

A funeral service for family and close friends will be held for Mr Kent at Our Lady Help of Christians, Mottingham Road, tomorrow at 9.15am.

Those who knew or wish to pay respects to Mr Kent are then invited to a memorial at Millwall's executive lounge, in The Den, Zampa Road, Bermondsey, from 1pm.

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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