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Tributes to river hero Tom Kennedy
A MUCH-LOVED dad who took part in a daring river rescue in York city centre has died at the age of only 43.
Tom Kennedy, of Dale Street, off Nunnery Lane, was one of two heroes who helped to save Caroline Peacock after she jumped into the River Foss, from Foss Bridge, in Fossgate, early on New Year’s Day in 2002 when Mr Kennedy was 32.
Speaking at the time, Mr Kennedy tried to play down his actions. “Someone had to do something so I just did what I could and I’d do it again. I wouldn’t say it was heroic. I’d like to think it was what anybody else would have done.”
Paying tribute to him his former partner, Tracey Glen, of Clifton, said: “Tom was just a much-loved dad. He’ll be really missed. He had so many friends and he was a great guy. He had a wonderful sense of humour and he thought the world of his children.”
In the past few years Mr Kennedy had suffered from a catalogue of health problems, which began when he started getting blood clots in his legs.
These got so bad he needed amputations on both his legs. He died at home on Sunday, October 13, after suffering health complications.
His illness meant he was in and out of hospital for the last two years of his life.
His devoted daughter, Natasha 17, acted as his carer, spending many hours with him in hospital.
She said: “He was a really funny man and was always making me laugh.
“He was very generous as well. I will miss him so much.”
When contacted by The Press Ms Peacock, of Holgate, who lived in Walmgate at the time of the rescue, said she was deeply saddened to hear of Mr Kennedy’s death.
She said: “We kept in touch for a while after he rescued me. I used to see him about and I was only thinking about him the other day – this is a real shock.”
Born and brought up in Glasgow, Mr Kennedy moved to York in his late teens and throughout his working life he did many jobs, from labourer to painter and decorator. He had two children, Reece, 19, a student at Sheffield Hallam University, and Natasha.
A funeral service will be held at York Crematorium tomorrow at 1.40pm, with donations to go to Ward 11 at York Hospital, which cares for patients who have had amputations.