A sales manager has died suddenly aged just 53 – six years after his best friend was killed in a freak road tragedy aged 47.
Nigel Finch was close friends with Neil Curtiss, who died instantly when a 60ft oak tree fell on his pick-up truck in Lapworth, near Solihull, in March 2007.
Now sales manager Mr Finch, who lived in the village, has also passed away after collapsing while driving in the area.
Around 150 family and friends gathered at The Navigation pub in Lapworth to celebrate the life of the father-of-two, who was actively involved in the local school’s PTA with wife Anne.
Navigation regular Pete Smith said both men were fondly remembered.
“Nigel used to say one end of the bar was the Premier League and the other was the Championship,” Mr Smith said.
“The Navigation is always full of football talk and we will always remember Nigel and Neil.
“They have left a big hole for the other football regulars, such as Gary Halbard, Andy Grice, Nick Sears, Howard Henlan and Neil Falkerson.”
Mr Grice said: “Nigel loved and lived life to the full. We are all devastated by such a sudden and tragic loss.”
Mr Finch had two daughters, 17-year-old Megan and Olivia, 13. He was a sales manager for garden machinery firm FGM Claymore.
Mr Curtiss ran C Curtiss and Sons, a family timber merchants in Lapworth.
Helen Sinfield, sales co-ordinator for Bidford-on-Avon-based FGM Claymore, said: “We are all devastated and Nigel will be dearly missed by all his colleagues in the trade.
“Our heartfelt thoughts are with his wife and daughters at this time.”
Mr Finch’s funeral was held on Tuesday at St Mary’s Church in Lapworth.