'Kind and caring' friend of the football community dies
- Credit: Supplied by the Godbold family
Tributes have been paid to an Ipswich man who was "kind and caring" and "would have given away his last penny" to help someone else, after his death aged 71.
Lenny Godbold helped look after his great-granddaughter Hallie in the last year of his life before dying on April 28 at Ipswich Hospital.
His daughter Hayley Alford says it was "wonderful" the family man was able to spend his last year taking her to nursey after he retired as a lorry worker.
She remembers him as a "happy-go-lucky man" who "would do anything for anybody".
"He was more than my dad, he was a friend. He looked after everyone and was the head of our family. We now have a big hole left."
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But most of all she says the family, including her twin sister Hazel Saunders, brother Robert Godbold, her mum Della, Mr Godbold's seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild, will look back fondly on the time they shared together.
"His funeral is going to be a celebration", she said. "His family was his main interest. I just think as long as his family was happy he was also happy."
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"He didn't really care what anyone thought of him. He would wear scruffy clothes, not brush his hair and he lost his teeth.
"He was contented with himself and didn't pretend to be anyone else."
The 71-year-old also had colitis but he "never let it bother him" before he was taken ill with liver disease and was admitted to Ipswich Hospital.
He contracted Covid, which meant his family could not visit until just before the end.
His son Robert 'Sammy' Godbold said Mr Godbold knew he was dying so he swore to him to take care of the family.
Mr Godbold said: "I promised I was going to look after mum and all his grandchildren as I held his hand.
"That was the last thing I said to him."
His daughter Hayley Alford added she still couldn't believe he had died. She said: "We kept safe, socially distanced and when he went into hospital he catches Covid. We're just glad Covid wasn't on the death certificate and he didn't become another statistic of Covid. He didn't drink or smoke"
His son Mr Godbold said he was glad to share his love of football with this "superhero" dad at Bramford Road Old Boys Football Club.
"When he retired we got a vets team up and going," he added. "He just didn't want to stop doing non-league football.
"A lot of people looked up to him and respected him. Thanks to all his friends, he loved everyone and to all those who supported him over the years, especially his family."
Chairman of Bramford Road Football Club Paul Salter said: "He was a one-off, a maverick, 24/7 every day it was just football.
"He was team manager for a number of years. He would also give people lifts to games and try to organise everything and that didn't really change when he retired.
"He was probably still thinking about football until the end, it was his life along with his family.
"He was a well-known person through the town and it was a privilege to have such a man around."
Outside of football, Mr Godbold loved karaoke and regularly sang for his neighbours during lockdown.
He was married to his wife Della for over 40 years and they renewed their vows recently, which his son Mr Godbold was "glad" him and his sisters got to see.
Knowing he was loved by so many outside the family the funeral will be live-streamed for those that cannot attend the ceremony later this month.
This is if the restrictions on the cap of 30 people at a funeral are not relaxed on May 17 under the government's Covid-19 roadmap.
For those who cannot be there in person, the family has set up a Go Fund Me so they can afford the live stream.