'He was always happy and smiling' - tributes to Scottish man believed to have died from coronavirus

A former Scottish football coach “known for his smile” is understood to have died after catching the coronavirus.

Danny Cairns from Greenock died in Inverclyde Royal Hospital, yesterday (Thursday).

The 68-year-old former Wemyss Bay Colts football coach is believed to have contracted COVID-19 and was taken to hospital earlier this week.

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Despite friends confirming he had no underlying health conditions, Mr Cairns never recovered.

Danny Cairns, pictured with wife Eunice

Spokesman for Wemyss Bay Stephen Renton posted on the club’s page: “Danny Cairns, 68, has sadly passed away this morning at Inverclyde Royal Hospital after contracting coronavirus.

“Danny was taken into hospital on March 23 and never recovered from COVID-19, despite not having any other known health issues.

“A common theme among the tributes given to him was his kind and helpful nature, and that he was always smiling.

“He is survived by his three sons, two daughters-in-law and two grandchildren. Our prayers are with them all at this difficult time.”

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The popular granddad and father to three sons was well-known in his community.

He lived in Wemyss Bay from the late 70s to the mid 90s with his wife Eunice during which they set up Wemyss Bay Bible Club in 1992.

He was the youngest sibling of the Cairns’ family.

His brother Hugh and sister-in-law Faye Cairns live in California but regularly visited him in Scotland.

In a tribute to her late relative Faye said: “Hugh’s brother, Danny, fought the battle but lost on this earth.

“He is now with our Heavenly Father. A genuine, gentle, giving , kind Christian man who’s life shown through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is devastating to say the least I don’t know how Hugh is going to cope losing his lifetime best friend and brother.

“This corona virus is truly an evil invisible enemy to mankind.

“We love you Danny. You always kept us in stitches and many times at your own expense. No words of how much we will miss you. This is a trying time for us all.”

Mr Cairns’ former minister Rev Michael Schrimshire and his wife Christine said in a message to the Cairns sons: "We are so sorry to hear about your dad, he was a true friend to us and was always happy and smiling. Please tell your mum that she and the family are in our prayers."

A spokesman from Westburn Parish Church in Greenock where Mr Cairns also worked said: “Danny was a valued member of our team of Church Officers and worked at Westburn Parish Church for many years.

“He was always friendly and welcoming to all who came into the church.

“He retired on Easter Sunday last year and said that he had always thought of his work not as a job but as a privilege and a way of serving God and others.”

Tributes have been made to Mr Cairns on the Wemyss Bay Facebook page.

The number of coronavirus deaths in Scotland has risen to 33 as of today (Friday, March 27).

More than 65,000 Scots are believed to be infected with the disease according to the country’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood.

In an address today she said: "I am now estimating that there are now 65,000 people in Scotland infected.

"The importance there is that only 1,000 or so people have actually been confirmed.

“So the vast majority of those people maybe do not realise they have Coronavirus or perhaps have symptoms and thank you to them for self-isolating and keeping away from other people.”

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