TRIBUTES have been paid to a talented cricketer who died suddenly after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
Stephen McGenity, 30, who played for Birkenhead St Mary’s Cricket Club, was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital on Friday afternoon.
After initial treatment the dad-of-three was transferred to the Walton Centre for specialist care where after assessment his life support systems were switched off at 5pm on Saturday.
Stephen’s dad Billy, who is the 1st XI captain at Birkenhead St Mary’s, led the tributes to the former St John Plessington student who was a popular and respected player on Merseyside’s cricket scene.
Billy said: “He was a fine all-rounder and a big, strong athlete so this has come as a complete shock.
“I spent a great day with him on Friday and at five minutes to six he was fine but at one minute past six he was gone.
“He will be missed by such a lot of people.”
Stephen, who married wife Roxanne in 2010, and was dad to three young children, Alfie, Mae and Stephen, played local league cricket at St Mary’s for the majority of his career before moving to Oxton CC in 2011.
He returned to the club last year and was due to be reunited with his dad this season.
Billy said: “I have played here for 43 seasons and for 18 of those I got to play alongside my son, which is such a comfort.
“He was an outstanding young player and I remember one time he had to be taken off after clean bowling the first five batsmen of a side.
“I have always been a rubbish player and other sides always used to come up to me in the bar afterwards and say Stephen’s mother must have been a good cricketer.”
Following Stephen’s tragic death Billy said the family have found comfort that his organs will be donated to help others.
He said: “All Stephen’s body parts, except for his lungs and eyes, have been used to help people across the country.
“The pain of Stephen’s loss has been softened knowing that during our bereavement there were other families getting some of the best news they could have been given.
“I know organ transfer is not for everyone but I would encourage all of the fit young men enjoying themselves playing cricket on a Saturday to think about it.”
John Williams, chairman of the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition, said: “This is desperately sad news.
“Steve was a fine cricketer who played a hard game on the pitch but took great care to look after everyone off it.
“He was his father’s son and the league’s thoughts and prayers are with his family and everyone at Birkenhead St Mary’s.”