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Page last updated at 15:59 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 16:59 UK

Grays' Cooksey loses cancer fight

Ernie Cooksey
Cooksey joined Grays from Boston last season (Getty)

Grays Athletic have announced the death of midfielder Ernie Cooksey from cancer at the age of 28.

The former Oldham, Rochdale and Boston player passed away in the early hours of 3 July.

A club statement read: "Ernie will always be fondly remembered by all those who he came in contact with.

"On the pitch Ernie always gave 100% and was a true gentleman off the pitch, he always found time to talk with the fans and has made many friends."

The statement continued: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Ernie's partner Louise and family at this sad time."

Cooksey had developed a form of skin cancer and was diagnosed with a recurrence of a malignant melanoma in February 2008.

Cooksey spent just over two years at Rochdale after joining on a free transfer from Oldham in September 2004, scoring eight goals in 100 appearances for the Spotland club.

Former Dale captain Gareth Griffiths told the club website: "Ernie made true friends wherever he went."

From Rochdale Cooksey moved to Boston United, spending the latter half of their final football league season with the club.

Pilgrims press officer Craig Singleton told BBC Radio Lincolnshire: "I think the Boston fans will always remember him for his honesty and hard work."

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