Mon, 08 Jan 2018
THE children of a Thatcham man whose body was recovered from the Kennet and Avon Canal have paid tribute to their “kind and gentle” father.
Steve Holland was last seen leaving the Slug and Lettuce pub in Newbury at 11.15pm on Friday, December 8.
Police and family appeals to find him were shared widely on social media, but sadly the 59-year-old’s body was found on Thursday, December 21.
In a tribute issued to the Newbury Weekly News, Mr Holland’s children said: “He was a kind and gentle soul with a heart of gold.
“He was very methodical and logical where everything had its place and routine.
“He loved sport, especially football, and his passion was following West Bromwich Albion.
“He supported them from a young age due to being from the Midlands.
“His passion for football made him very enthusiastic about following and helping his son Paul to set up a Sunday league team that he watched every week, usually running the line.
“Where he could he would watch his two grandsons in their footballing adventures too.
“You will be sorely missed, gone too soon. RIP Dad, we love you xxx”
Mr Holland was born on July 11, 1958 in Darlaston, in the West Midlands; one of three sons of Samuel, aged 89, and Dorothy, who the family lost in January 2016. He was an older brother to David, aged 57, and Kevin, aged 55.
Mr Holland is survived by his three children Rachel, 37, Paul, 25, and Leanne, 20, and his grandchildren Charlie, nine, and Ollie, eight.
Floral tributes have been left close to where Mr Holland’s body was discovered.
His daughter Rachel, son-in-law Nathan and grandchildren said: “Dad and Grandad, we love and miss you lots.”
And daughter Leanne said: “I love and miss you more and more each day Dad. Sleep tight.”
A card left by Mr Holland’s father reads: “Never had chance to say goodbye. Take care of Mum. Love Dad.”
His brother Kevin said: “Goodnight brother rest in peace. Love Kev, Nita, Matt, Adam and Vikki.”
Tribute to a “special ‘baggie” was paid by Rhys, while Ann, Andy, George and Charlotte said: “Such a sad loss to all of us. May you rest in peace Steve. God bless.”
An inquest into Mr Holland’s death has been opened.