RL star’s tribute to mystery death pal

Gareth Hock and Kieran McNamara (right)
Gareth Hock and Kieran McNamara (right)

FORMER Wigan rugby player Gareth Hock has paid tribute to one of his childhood friends who has died in mysterious circumstances.

Keiron McNamara, of Beech Hill, was found dead at a home in Wigan on Wednesday morning. Shocked relatives were today unable to explain the particulars surrounding the 31-year-old former Kingsdown High School pupil’s death, saying he had simply gone out to watch football and drink at a friend’s house.

Salford Red Devils star Hock is reported to be preparing to fly home from South Africa, where he is currently training.

Speaking of Keiron, who was more commonly known as Key ‘K’ Concrete, he posted on Twitter: “Can’t believe one off my best mates as passed away today.

“Love you Key lad. Love you loads R.I.P! Shocked xx”

Keiron’s parents, Pauline and Peter, were too distressed to speak, but his aunt, Christine Smalley, 54, said: “Our Keiron was a lovable person.

“No matter what, he had a smile and was very polite.

“He had a lot of respect for his family and loved his two nieces and two nephews.

“Everyone in Beech Hill would see him riding on his bike and he always had time for everyone. No matter what troubles he had, he was always laughing and joking. We are all devastated. He has quite a big family, with lots of cousins and we are all in shock.

“We watched him grow up – it is too much to take in.”

His uncle, Paul Smalley, said: “Everyone had a good word for him.

“He was a lovable rogue.”

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police described the death as “unexplained,” and added: “We are looking into the circumstances surrounding Mr McNamara’s death, but we do not believe it is suspicious. We are working with the coroner.”