TRIBUTE messages have been flooding in by the hundred for a popular Newbold man who has died in Africa aged 44.
Pete ‘Sailsy’ Diack was working in Sierra Leone when he suffered a series of heart attacks last Thursday.
His friends and family have described him as a ‘legend’ and left pages of their memories of him on social networking site Facebook.
Daughter Katie, who lives in Rugby, said: “My Dad was a legend who was loved by everybody.
“The messages are giving us a lot of comfort and we would like to thank everybody. A page has been set up in his memory and so far over 1,000 people have paid tribute.”
Pete, who lived in the town all his life, fulfilled his dream of visiting Thailand just before his fateful move to Sierra Leone where he worked as a driver.
“I’m so glad he got to go to Thailand,” said Katie.
“He was the happiest he’s ever been.”
She said her father’s final Facebook status update, referring to Katie, read: “My little princess has got a job. Miracles do happen.”
Pete, who used to be in the army and also enjoyed rugby, was well-known in the town and was also affectionately known as the the ‘Karaoke King’. His signature tune was Sweet Caroline, a song that will be played on the day of his funeral.
He also leaves a son, Ryan, another daughter, Sian, and Sharon, their mother.
“My Dad had so many catchphrases,” said Ryan.
“A lot of people will remember him for that. He had a brilliant sense of humour and was a great character.”
Pete’s mother, Joan, who lived with her son in Parkfield Road, said he will be remembered for his ability to lift everyone’s spirits.
“He was the life and soul of the party,” she said.
“We will miss him so much.”
Pete’s family would like to say a big thank you to his colleague Dave Hall, who has been an enormous comfort to them.
He also leaves a brother John, sister Joanne, newphews Robert and Stuart, neice Kirsty and close friend Robbie.
The funeral will be at 11am on September 16 at St Marie’s Church in Dunchurch Road, Rugby, followed by burial at St Botolph’s in Newbold, a tribute song at the Barley Mow pub in Newbold where he used to sing and a wake at Newbold Rugby Club.
Flowers from family and close friends and donations can be made to the British Heart Foundation through the Co-op Funeral Service in Rugby.