THE family of a talented cricketer who died suddenly after a brain haemorrhage have asked mourners to wear cricket jumpers to his funeral.
Stephen McGenity, 30, who played for Birkenhead St Mary’s Cricket Club, was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital last Friday.
After initial treatment the father of three was transferred to Walton Hospital for specialist care and, following assessment, his life support systems were switched off at 5pm the following day.
A funeral mass for Stephen will take place at 1pm on Thursday February 7 at St Joseph’s Church, Birkenhead.
Local cricketers wishing to remember Stephen are being encouraged to wear their cricket colours.
Stephen’s father, Billy, who is the 1st XI captain at Birkenhead St Mary’s, led the tributes to the former St John Plessington student who was a popular and respected player on Merseyside’s cricket scene.
“He was a fine all-rounder and a big, strong athlete so this has come as a complete shock,” said Billy.
“I spent a great day with him on Friday and at five minutes to six he was fine but at one minute past six he was gone.
“He’ll be missed by such a lot of people.”
Stephen, who married wife Roxanne in 2010, and was father to three young children, Alfie, Mae and Stephen, played local league cricket at St Mary’s for the majority of his career, before moving to Oxton CC in 2011.
He returned to the club last year and was due to be reunited with his dad this season.
Billy said: “I’ve played here for 43 seasons and for 18 of those I got to play alongside my son which is such a comfort.
“He was an outstanding young player and I remember one time he had to be taken off after clean bowling the first five batsmen of a side. I’ve always been a rubbish player and other sides always used to come up to me in the bar afterwards and say Stephen’s mother must have been a good cricketer.”
Following Stephen’s tragic death, Billy said the family have found comfort in donating his organs to help others.
“All Stephen’s body parts, except for his lungs and eyes, have been used to help people across the country. The pain of Stephen’s loss has been softened knowing that during our bereavement there were other families getting some of the best news they could have been given.”
John Williams, chairman of the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition, said: “This is desperately sad news.”