Tributes pour in for former Bristol City midfielder from Portishead after six-year fight with cancer
PUBLISHED: 16:00 23 October 2019
Tributes have been paid to 'brave' former Bristol City midfielder Jon Economou, who has died after a six-year battle with cancer.
Economou, who played more than 70 times for the Robins in the 1980s,died on October 11, a fortnight shy of his 58th birthday.
The father-of-two, who lived in Portishead, leaves behind 'adored' daughters Hayley and Gemma and partner of seven years Mandi.
Loved ones, friends and former teammates have all paid tribute to 'a really nice bloke' who will be 'badly missed by so many people'.
Mr Economou rose through the ranks at Ashton Gate, making his debut in 1982 following the club's financial crisis which saw an exodus of eight first-team stars.
The midfielder stepped into the breach, making his debut against Fulham alongside several other youngsters in a goalless draw in front of more than 10,000 people.
He played a further 75 games for the reds, scoring four goals, before later turning out for Yeovil Town and Minehead.
In 2013 he was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma, and underwent countless operations and procedures in a bid to defeat the disease - but he died peacefully in his sleep after a brave battle.
Mandi said: "I was so lucky to have met Jon.
"He brought me so much happiness in the seven years we were together.
"He was the bravest person I have ever met and always had a big smile on his face, even though he was sometimes in so much pain, he never wanted us to know, he fought with dignity right until the end. My heart is broken.
"He adored his two daughters, Hayley and Gemma and I will make sure I will always be there for them. Everyone who was lucky enough to meet him loved him."
Wayne Bray, close friend and teammate, said it was 'devastating news'.
He added: "Jon was a terrific person who fought his illness so courageously, it's so sad."
Friend and sports writer Don Veale insists Economou will be fondly remembered.
He said: "Not only was Jon a really nice bloke, he was also the bravest person I ever met.
"He's going to be so badly missed by so many people and my heart goes out to Mandi and his daughters."
Jon's funeral will be held at Bristol South Crematorium on October 31 at 12.45pm.