HULL CITY academy coach Kris Blakeston has passed away, aged 40.
The Championship club have paid tribute to the long-serving member of the team following his short battle with cancer.
Blakestone worked within Hull City’s youth ranks for almost 14 years.
The veteran coach worked in a variety of roles with all age groups and was in charge of the Under-13s this season.
Hull tweeted a lengthy statement in tribute to the “outstanding member of the team” following the tragic news.
It read: “Hull City were deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Academy Coach Kris Blakeston following a short battle with cancer.
“Kris was one of the longest-serving members of staff at the Academy, having worked in the Club’s youth set-up for almost 14 years in a variety of coaching roles with all age groups.
“He made a huge impact on the lives of so many through his work – both players who have gone on to enjoy careers in the game and those that have pursued other paths away from football.
“An outstanding member of the team, his personality, charm and infectious sense of humour will be sorely missed by all at the Academy – staff, players and parents – who have been fortunate enough to work with him.
“Everyone at the Club would like to pass on their thoughts and heartfelt condolences to Kris’ family and friends and politely request that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.”
Former Hull and Derby forward Craig Fagan was among the huge army of fans that paid tribute to him on Twitter.
He wrote: “Gutted to hear the news yesterday of the passing of @krisblakeston he did all he could for @HullCity @HullCityAcademy from day one he made me feel welcome in the academy.
“No day without banter in the office. His passion for football was there to see daily. Thank you Blakey.”