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This is how Gillingham fans can pay their respects to former manager Justin Edinburgh

Gillingham are opening up a book of condolence following the death of former boss Justin Edinburgh.

Edinburgh, who managed the Gills between 2015 and 2017, suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away on Saturday, aged 49.

Past players including Bradley Dack have taken to social media to express their shock and sadness.

Former Gillingham boss Justin Edinburgh died at the age of 49 Picture: Barry Goodwin
Former Gillingham boss Justin Edinburgh died at the age of 49 Picture: Barry Goodwin

Fans of the Gills will now have chance to pay their respects at the club this week.

Club chairman Paul Scally said: “Having heard the shocking and tragic news of Justin Edinburgh’s death on Saturday, as a mark of respect we are opening up a book of condolence where fans can come to the stadium any day between 9am and 8pm to sign it, as well as leave flowers in the dugout areas as a tribute to a great person, and a much loved father and husband.

“We are all deeply stunned, distressed and saddened by this tragic news and our heartfelt condolences go out to Justin’s wife Kerri, his son Charlie and daughter Cydnie and all their direct family and friends.”

Edinburgh's son Charlie tweeted: "My best friend, my hero and best dad you could ever ask for.

"You made all of my dreams come true and shaped me into the man I am today.

"I will look after the girls. Love you Big Man see you soon. So Proud."

Supporters can enter the stadium from 2pm on Monday, with doors closing at 8pm.

From Tuesday until Friday the family enclosure will be open between 9am and 8pm. On Saturday the stadium will open between 9am and 1pm.

The football world has been left in shock following Edinburgh’s death.

Dack, who played his best football for the Gills under Edinburgh, said: “Devastated doesn’t even cut it.

"What you did for me on and off the pitch made me who I am today and I will be forever grateful.

"You was more than just a manager to me you was a great friend and the world is a much worse place without you. Love you mate RIP Justin.”

Former captain Josh Wright wrote “no words could describe what this man not meant but will always mean to me.”

Edinburgh took the Gills top of the League 1 table during his spell as manager but the form dipped in the latter stages of the season. He has since had a stint with Northampton Town but found glory again with Leyton Orient, taking them to the National League title this season.

Orient fans have been able to sign their own book of condolence and the club is observing a period of mourning, with their club offices shut until Wednesday.

An Orient statement said: “The club wishes to express its continued thankfulness for all the kind words and well wishes from our supporters and the football community worldwide.”

Former club Newport County said they were “stunned and devastated” by the news of Edinburgh’s death. He took County back into the Football League after a 25-year absence.

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