FRIENDS and family – including soccer star Frank Lampard – are raising money in memory of a Canvey man who died of a heart attack.

Father-of-seven Tony Winchester, 48, described as a “lovable character”, was found dead at his home in February.

Brother-in-law Martin French is now planning on skydiving with nine friends for the British Heart Foundation.

They are also holding a fun day for the foundation, with Tony’s cousin, Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, donating items for auction in Tony’s memory.

Martin, 39, who lives off Long Road, Canvey, said: “It’s terrible and really tragic.

Tony was a born and bred Canvey man. He was under a bit of stress because his nan had just died, but we don’t knowwhat caused the attack.

“He was very funny, with a dry sense of humour. Lots of people knew him. He was a lovable character, a really good bloke.

“We were just going to organise a parachute jump, but then thought it would be good to do another charity event, where everyone can get involved.”

As well as the auction, with football items sent by Lampard, there will be face painting, inflatables and a disco.

Although the footballer is supporting the event, Martin does not believe he will show up on the day.

Martin hopes local businesses will donate items for auction.

Entry to the event is £10 for adults, with children free. It starts at 7pm on July 25 and is being held at Canvey Rugby Club, off Dovervelt Road. If you can help, call Martin on 07449140041.

The parachute jump is set for later this year.