A friend of a Wigan man who died suddenly has launched a desperate fund-raising appeal to help pay for his funeral.
Karen Berrey was shocked by the death of Andrew Anson at Wigan Infirmary on Easter Sunday aged just 48.
Andrew was a well-known figure in the paranormal and occult world and ran his own shop Ordo Templi in Hindley before setting up a dog daycare business to make his passion for animals his job.
Karen, who is also a medium, said he was an intensely private man and had told no-one about the true extent of his fight against cancer. As she has also discovered he died with very little money and has probably only one living relative whom he had not met in decades she has now set up a Just Giving page and hopes his friends and Wigan residents will rally round to give him a decent burial.
The Winstanley 34-year-old said: “He was a very genuine man and he had a heart of gold, he would help anybody if he could. He was a proper gentleman. I’m hoping people from this community will come forward to help.
“I knew he had cancer but I didn’t know how bad it was. He was a quiet and very private, almost secretive man. None of his friends knew how poorly he was.
“I just want him to have a funeral and not be left in a morgue. He has a lot of friends and extended friends and I’m hoping they will help.”
Karen only found out about Ashton resident Andrew’s condition as her partner was one of the paramedics who took him to hospital after he suffered a heart attack at a care home.
She immediately rushed to his side at Wigan Infirmary and the couple were both with him when he died on March 16.
Andrew’s half-brother John Anson, who lives in Cornwall, also paid tribute to him but said he had discovered more about Andrew since coming to Wigan following his death than he had known while he was alive.
John, 54, said: “It was a bit of a shock. He called out of the blue last year and said he was recovering from being ill and he wanted to keep in touch. He did for a while and then stopped again.
“I last saw him when he was 17, I never knew him at all as a man. It is a real shame what has happened to him, so I’m hoping now we can raise some money for a send off. I think the problem was he was very private and tended to push people away slightly. I’ve met people this week who really cared and would have helped out, and I would have done the same if he had just reached out a hand.”
Karen is hoping the appeal will raise enough money for a funeral, with any proceeds left over going to a cancer charity.
To find out more or donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/andrewanson