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FRIENDS of a family man who collapsed at the end of a football match and later died have organised a charity tournament in his memory.
Shunil Ladha, of Constable Gardens, Edgware, suffered a heart attack minutes after finishing a weekly kick around with friends at Centenary Park Sports Club in Culver Grove, Stanmore, on Sunday, December 16.
Paramedics tried to revive him at the scene and in the ambulance but he was pronounced dead hours later at Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow.
The 40-year-old left behind wife Rasila, their son Rohan, 11, who has Down’s Syndrome and attends Alexandra School in Alexandra Avenue, South Harrow, and daughter Nyah, 4, a pupil at Stag Lane Infant and Nursery School in Collier Drive, Edgware.
Shunil’s only sibling, his younger brother Neynes Ladha (pictured with Rohan and Nyah), known as Jig, 33, told the Observer: “He was happy, caring, considerate, overwhelmingly generous, and a true gentleman. He was loyal – somebody who would do anything for anybody.
“He was very passionate about cars, cricket and football.
“We are originally from Bolton in Lancashire and moved down in 1997, and Shunil supported Bolton Wanderers FC, for whom Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a heart attack on the pitch and survived, played. Fortunately, he survived.
“We are still in the dark about how my brother died. We have a history of heart attacks in the family and our father died of one aged 51.”
Family and friends of Shunil, who worked as a social worker at Edgware Community Hospital in Burnt Oak Broadway, Edgware, are holding a five-a-side football mini tournament at Centenary Park on Sunday to raise money for the Down’s Syndrome Association.
The pitch Shunil and his footballing pals hired out for their weekly game for the last five years will also be renamed the SRL Memorial Pitch in memory of Shunil, and the Ladha family have bought a memorial bench to be placed near to where he collapsed.
Hundreds packed into Hendon Crematorium in Hendon for the father-of-two’s funeral on December 21 and many of the mourners, including women and children, will take part in the memorial match.
Mr Ladha, of Radstock Avenue, Kenton, said: “We want to raise awareness of what happened to my brother, to celebrate his life, and play some football and raise some money for charity.”
The inquest into Shunil Ladha’s death was opened and adjourned at North London Coroner’s Court in Barnet on December 20, 2012, and will resume on August 21.
No cause of death has yet been determined.