A LOVING dad-of-three has died suddenly aged 27 – just four months after his youngest child was born.

Greig Rawlinson died at Southend Hospital from a blood clot that spread to his lungs days after being taken ill at his home in Ramuz Drive, Westcliff.

His grieving wife, Claire Rawlinson, has paid a glowing tribute to him and said he was hard-working and a loving father to Kai, seven, Tyler, three, and four-month-old Lilly Rose.

Kai saw his dad collapse and in the afternoon of Saturday, December 19, and called the ambulance and alerted neighbours for help.

Mr Rawlinson passed away just days before Christmas on the early hours of Monday, December 21 Mrs Rawlinson, 30, said the blood clot was thought to be the result of an injury suffered playing football about five weeks before.

She said “It was a blood clot in his right calf that got bigger and went up to his lung where it clogged up all the main arteries.

“At the time, we just thought it was a muscular injury.”

The couple, who both grew up in Rayleigh and went to Sweyne Park School, met 11 years ago and were married for six years.

Devastated Mrs Rawlinson said: “I feel like I’ve lost my right arm.

“Christmas was awful. I’m just taking every day as it comes. We had so much planned together.

“I’m just trying to bring up the children as he wanted. That’s the best way to honour Greig.

“Kai is very distraught, but he’s coping amazingly well.

“The younger two don’t really understand.

“I’m just so glad he got to meet his daughter. It’s a relief to know that.”

A Facebook group set up in memory of Mr Rawlinson, who worked as an energy surveyor for Saving Energy in Wickford, has hundreds of members giving glowing tributes to him.

Mrs Rawlinson added: “Greig was kind, genuine and funny.

“He was a hard-working, family man, but he liked to go out clubbing like any 27-year-old.

“We used to go out together, but also liked to stay in and watch a film. Greig was loved by so many people who knew him, he made such an impression.

“He never had a bad word to about anybody.”

After Sweyne, Mr Rawlinson went on to Seevic College, in Thundersley. The couple moved from Rayleigh to Westcliff about nine years ago.

He had only started playing football again about four months before he died for Foundry Athletic FC, in Rochford.

Mrs Rawlinson thanked friends and family for all their support since his death.

She said: “Without their help, I don’t think I would’ve got through this terrible time.

“We’ve had hundreds of calls and text messages, and people just popping in.”

Mr Rawlinson’s funeral takes place today at Southend Crematorium, and more than 160 people are expected to pay their respects.

Instead of flowers, the family have asked for any donations to be made for a trust fund for the children, care of Stibbards funeral directors at 4 Common Hall Lane, Hadleigh, to be made payable to a Mrs T Ewers.