Tribute to true ex-pat Blues fan

HE might have lived in the land of the World Cup winners, but Ipswich Town was the only football team for Andrew McNabb.The 44-year-old, who was killed in a road crash in Brazil, was even buried with his Ipswich Town shirt.

HE might have lived in the land of the World Cup winners, but Ipswich Town was the only football team for Andrew McNabb.

The 44-year-old, who was killed in a road crash in Brazil, was even buried with his Ipswich Town shirt.

Mr McNabb, a meat trader who worked for the Vestey family for many years, spent his schooldays in Suffolk and got hooked on the Blues during the 1970s.

His mother Joan, from Ipswich, said: "He loved Ipswich Town – he listened to all their matches on the internet and the people in Barretos, where he lived, knew everything there is to know about the team. He was a great ambassador."


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Mr McNabb was killed instantly when a truck crashed into the pick-up vehicle that was towing his broken-down Chevrolet van in Sao Jose Rio Preto last month.

His son, Maclean, 14, was hurt in the crash but has made a good recovery while the driver of the van lost a leg.

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"I'm devastated at losing him," said Mrs McNabb. "He was a very special person and it is not just me that thought so. He was so talented.

"His funeral in Brazil was the day after the accident. There were hundreds of people there and I did not realise just how highly regarded and respected he was until this tragedy.

"He loved living in Brazil and he was so well-loved and happy – I had been only been over to visit him two weeks before the accident. He would come over to visit about twice a year."

Scores of mourners also attended a memorial service at St Bartholomew Church, West Smithfield, London.

Mrs McNabb and her late husband Tom, a Royal Navy officer, moved in Ipswich in 1971 with their four children.

Andrew, the eldest, went to the Royal Hospital School, in Holbrook, and studied for a degree at St Mary's College, London University.

He went into the meat trade, starting as Lord Sam Vestey's personal assistant in London, and had a training stint in Australia before moving to Brazil in 1986 to work for Union International.

Mr McNabb had a son, Campbell, 17, from his first marriage and when that broke-up, he remarried to Erica, a Brazilian. They had two further children, Maclean, and Carolina, seven.

He also worked for Minerva while in Brazil and had set-up his own meat exporting business before his death. He also had three brothers and sisters, Elizabeth, 43, Jamie, 41, and Jonathon, 37.

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