Jonathan Ibbs tributes: 'Brilliant Stoke City fan inspired all of us'
FATHER-OF-TWO Jonathan Ibbs has died after losing his brave seven-year battle with cancer.
Tributes are now being paid to the popular 33-year-old, who died at his family home in Dresden.
Jonathan, a father-of-two, had recently been told that conventional treatment for his brain tumour had failed. He was due to meet specialists this week to discuss whether any alternative procedures would be available.
But the avid Stoke City fan's condition began to deteriorate rapidly last week and he died on Monday morning.
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Mum Sue, aged 60, whose daughter Samantha died in 2004 at the age of 21 from Crohn's disease, said: "He was just a marvellous lad and was always so caring. He put everybody before himself."
As reported in The Sentinel, Jonathan's friends recently organised a special trip to the Britannia Stadium for him to see his beloved Potters take on West Ham.
He arrived by limousine before meeting captain Ryan Shawcross, who presented Jonathan with a pair of signed boots.
Sue, who lives with husband Neil, aged 66, said: "He didn't stop talking about the trip and kept Ryan's boots by his bed.
"We are just so grateful to his friends and the two companies who paid for the executive box. It meant so much to Jonathan."
Friend Dave Ryder, aged 32, of Longton, who helped organise Jonathan's trip, said: "I remember during the day he told each of us that he loved us and he must have known that he was very poorly.
"The medics didn't expect him to be well enough to go to the match but he was determined because that is the sort of character he was."
Jonathan, a former plumber, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2006 after falling in the street close to his home.
The former Edensor High School pupil underwent three operations and courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
But scans later revealed the tumour had not reduced in size.
However, Jonathan, who once played for Longton Cricket Club, refused to allow his condition to affect him and just last year travelled to Valencia for the Potters' Europa League tie in Spain. And shortly after returning he flew out to Prague for stag-do.
Jodi Shenton, aged 26, of Fenpark, who grew up with Jonathan, said: "I remember when Samantha passed away, she was my world, and Jonathan said he would always look after me – and he did.
"He was always one of the lads but had a heart of gold."
HGV driver Craig Miller, aged 32, of Dresden, added: "He was a great person and a brilliant mate.
"He had a fantastic sense of humour. You could go to him for anything."
Another friend, Chris Morris, aged 29, also of Dresden, added: "He never let his illness get him down and always stayed positive – he was a real inspiration to us all."
Jonathan's funeral will take place at Carmountside Crematorium from 1.30pm on Friday, March 22.
The family have asked for any donations to be made to the Douglas Macmillan Hospice or the Donna Louise Trust.