Family pays tribute to Barnsley dad with a 'heart of gold' after sudden death

Craig Atkinson
-Credit: (Image: Chelsey Atkinson)

The family of a dad with a "heart of gold" have paid tribute to him following his sudden death.

Craig Atkinson, 51 and from Barnsley, died on Tuesday night after coming home from work and going to bed as normal. Later in the night, at around 5am in the morning, his wife woke up to the sound of Craig snoring strangely and went to wake him up, but his face had turned blue.

The family attempted to help him and called an ambulance to take him to hospital. They were later told there was nothing that could be done, and Craig sadly died just three weeks before turning 52.

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His daughter, Chelsey Atkinson, paid tribute to him, saying: "He had an heart of gold, he'd have done anything for anyone, even people he didn't know.

"He was just so easy to get on with. At any party he was life and soul of the party, he was just a pleasure and anybody who knew him, he just left an imprint in their life one way or another.

"It was all about his family, all that mattered to him was his family. As long as his wife and kids were fine, nothing else mattered to him."

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"He was a massive Man United fan, he was always at his happiest with a beer in his hand, watching Man United," Chelsey added.

"He never missed watching Man United. Wherever he was, he made sure he was rushing home to be in front of that telly. One thing, and we all said it, obviously we try to come to terms with what happened, we all said he would have been so happy that he didn't miss Man United winning the FA Cup."

Due to how sudden everything happened, Chelsey has launched a fundraiser to try to give Craig the send-off he deserves. Chelsey said any donations would "mean so much" to the family as her father's death had come as a "total shock".

So far, the fundraiser has raise just over £350, and Chelsey said the response showed how much her dad meant to so many people who her dad helped throughout the years. She added: "It can make a big, big difference to other people, especially at a time when they're already grieving and it just takes that edge off a bit.

"Like for us, we're already grieving, a sudden loss that we never saw coming."

You can donate to the GoFundMe here,