A SOON-TO-BE grandfather lost his battle with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) just weeks before his daughter was set to give birth to her first child.

Peter Fell died overnight on Monday aged 58 and just weeks before his eldest daughter Kirsten Bennett was due to welcome his first grandchild into the world.

Friends and family of the sports technician said his death will leave a ‘huge hole’ in the lives of those closest to him.

The 58-year-old was diagnosed with MND in early-March leaving his wife and three children ‘absolutely heartbroken’.

MND, is an umbrella term for a group of diseases which affect the body’s nervous system.

Every patient experiences different symptoms of MND but broadly it will affect their ability to walk, talk and eventually how they eat, drink and breathe.

Former colleague and friend of more than 30 years, Paul Stanway described Mr Fell as a ‘devoted family man’ who ‘touched the lives of many people’.

“Felly’s death will create a huge hole in our lives,” Mr Stanway said.

“He was a true friend and work colleague.”

The pair worked together at the South Cumbria Pupil Referral Unit as well as coached the Barrow AFC under-18s squad.

“He cared passionately about local sport and touched the lives of many people with his active involvement as a player, coach and later as a fanatical fan of anything that involved a ball,” Mr Stanway added.

“At work Felly displayed a remarkable ability to nurture the most difficult of individuals and has a fantastic reputation as a caring educator.

“South Cumbria pupil referral unit staff will miss his happy face and ruthlessly sarcastic humour.”

Mr Fell was a loving husband to Angie and dad-of-three, with his daughter set to give birth to his first grandchild in September.

“He was a devoted family man but also very private, Angie was his world,” Mr Stanway said.

“He was proud of all his children’s achievements and was so looking forward to welcoming his first grandchild next month.”

After Mr Fell’s diagnosis in March, Mr Stanway thought it was important to help support the family by setting up a ‘FellysFund’ JustGiving page.

Mr Stanway said: “It didn’t take long for the community to jump on the fundraising which is testament to the sort of character Pete is.”

Within five days, Mr Stanway’s JustGiving page had reached £2,000 towards its £5,000 target.

The fundraising page has since surpassed its target, reaching £5,700.

Mr Stanway said: “The community's support during his illness has been nothing short of remarkable and we will endeavour to create a legacy through Fellysfund in the future.

“Felly will alway be remembered as the friendly, happy guy in the shorts”

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/fellysfund.