TRIBUTES have poured in for an ex-Pompey player who strived to help others with motor neurone disease.
Kim Manns, who played for the Blues for a season in the 1970s, died at The Rowans Hospice on Sunday after losing his battle with the condition.
His son, Chris Manns described the 61-year-old as a ‘real hero’ who helped to raise more than £30,000 for The MND Association.
‘He was a real hero, a loving husband and tremendous father and grandfather and he was a real inspiration, particularly in sport and friendship,’ said Chris.
‘The support he has received on social media over the past few days, which became his lifeline when he lost his voice, has been tremendous.’
Mr Manns, of Copnor, played for Waterlooville FC for more than 20 years and had a spell at Fratton Park in 1972 under Ron Tindal.
The support he has received on social media over the past few days, which became his lifeline when he lost his voice, has been tremendous.Kim Manns’ son Chris Manns
He helped to raise funds for the MND Association by arranging with friends and family golf days, football matches and a sky dive.
And Chris said the ‘proudest moment’ of his father’s life came when Portsmouth City Council agreed to sign an MND charter pledging to support patients after he called for the move.
Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, who agreed the authority would do more to help sufferers, knew Mr Manns through their connections with Hambledon Cricket Club.
Cllr Jones said: ‘Even though Kim was suffering with this awful, horrible disease, he never lost his spirit.
‘I don’t think I ever saw Kim when he wasn’t smiling.
‘He was a local man, a Pompey hero and I feel privileged to have known him.
‘It’s a great loss and I am deeply saddened by his passing.’
Chris added: ‘Since Christmas, dad had gone downhill, and as sad as it sounds, it is a relief it is over for him.’
A celebration of Mr Manns’ life is being arranged by his family.