DEVASTATED friends have paid tribute to a ‘friendly giant’ who passed away in his sleep at home.
David Trute – known as Trutey to many who knew him – battled with a string of weight-related health problems before his life was cut short at the age of 33 on June 24.
Mr Trute, of Dover Road, Copnor, was a lifelong Arsenal fan who enjoyed socialising at Moneyfields Sport and Social Club, in Moneyfield Avenue, Copnor.
Though he worked as a labourer during his late teens, he was unable to work for much of his life because he suffered from arthritis and leg ulcers.
In the last few months of his life he needed a mobility scooter to get around.
Prior to his death he was admitted to hospital and had been back home for five weeks before he passed away. Tests from a post-mortem examination have not yet revealed the cause of death.
Close friend Becci Frost, 33, of Cowplain, said the news came as a shock because Mr Trute had managed to lose six stone during his time under care.
‘Everyone thought he was getting better so it was a massive shock,’ she said.
‘Moneyfields wouldn’t have been Moneyfields without him. They are going to miss him a lot.’
Sophia Benham knew Mr Trute because her son Michael 14, plays football for Moneyfields.
She said: ‘He was a Pompey lad through and through and a gentle giant.
‘I hadn’t been able to see much of him in the last couple of years because he’s been in and out of hospital. Before that we were close friends. He was one of those guys where once you met him you would know him for life.
‘He was brilliant with the kids at Moneyfields and would always give them presents or money when it was Christmas or someone’s birthday. It’s tragic that he’s died so young. I’m devastated.’
Claire Upstell, 37, who has worked at Moneyfields Social Club since she was 18, said he will be terribly missed.
‘He was a fantastic guy,’ she said.
‘He had time for everybody. He was the life and soul of the party and was extremely popular with pretty much everyone in the community.
‘He never made a fuss of his problems. He just got on with life.’
Today friends and family will follow Mr Trute’s hearse as it makes its way from Moneyfields Social Club back to his home at 1.30pm.
His funeral will then take place at Wessex Vale Crematorium, in Hedge End, later in the day.