Wigan football coach launches bid to repatriate uncle's body after tragic death abroad

A Wigan-based football coach is appealing for help in raising £10,000 to bring his uncle’s body back from Ghana.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 7:25 am
Updated Friday, 25th January 2019, 8:33 am
Wayne Robinson

Driving instructor Wayne Robinson, 54, died after getting into difficulty while swimming near the Affram River in the west African country last week.

Now his heartbroken nephew Jamie Vermiglio, who lives in Ashton-in-Makerfield and is in charge of Chorley FC’ is hoping the local community can help the family raise the funds to bring his body back to the UK.

Mr Robinson, a father-of-two from Walton , had flown to Ghana on December 28 for a two-week trip to help with building work and to teach children how to read and write.

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Wayne, described as “kind-hearted and selfless” by members of his family, travelled to Africa just a short time after reading about the local community’s struggles, and decided he had to help.

Jamie, 36, said: “My Uncle Wayne was the sort of person who was always the first to congratulate you when you’d done well, or console you when you were having a hard time.

“When I got the Chorley job he was there on the phone, he was made up for me and he was there to watch Chorley in my first game as manager.

“Going over to Ghana to help less well-off other people is exactly the sort of thing he would do, and this wasn’t the first time he had been over.

Jamie Vermiglio needs help to bring his uncle Wayne's body back home

“He was an Everton fan and would take lots of tops and sports gear over for the youngsters.

“Our family is devastated by what has happened but he would be the first one to try and cheer us up and make sure we were OK.”

Jamie said Wayne’s two grown-up children, Daniel and Sarah-Jayne, were bearing up well and trying to stay strong for the rest of the family.

Jamie said friends and family members had already rallied round and some members were now in Africa to sort things out.

But the costs involved also included funeral arrangements for Wayne, who was not believed to be insured for the trip.

Wayne’s family have set up a GoFundMe appeal to help with the costs of bringing his body home.

Jamie said: “Wayne didn’t sort out his insurance, unfortunately.

“He just wanted to get out there and help as soon as possible.

“Apart from getting his body back, there are the funeral arrangements to sort out and that isn’t cheap.

“If anyone is able to help with the gofundme campaign, it would be a big help.

“He would be the first person to help with this situation.”

Local media in Ghana reported that Wayne, a former taxi driver, got into difficulty after going for a swim with three friends on January 8.

It is not yet known how Wayne, said to be fit and healthy, got into difficulties.

Local fisherman retrieved his body from the river.

To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/in-memory-of-wayne-robinson