CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe has led tributes to former Echo journalist Kevin Nash, who died on Wednesday at the age of 57.

The AFC Bournemouth manager described him as “a really good guy who cared passionately about this football club” and added: “It was great dealing with him - he was just a gentleman. He will be greatly missed by everyone here.”

Former sports editor Kevin, who leaves a wife and three children, also worked closely with Stoke City manager Tony Pulis when he was Cherries boss.

Mr Pulis said: “My thoughts are with his family. They are the ones who will be suffering.”

Poole Town manager Tom Killick added: “He was just a really nice guy. He had a really wide knowledge in all levels of sport and football locally.”

Kevin, who lived in Southbourne, was taken ill with pancreatitis just 11 days before he passed away in Bournemouth Hospital.

His wife, Michele, said he was a wonderful father to their three children, Amy, 22, Harry, 19, and 12-year-old Phoebe.

She added: “He was so proud of his children and all their achievements. His family were his greatest pleasure, along with his golf.

“It's a shock for the whole family because it was so sudden.”

Kevin, a father-of-three, worked at the Echo for many years as sports editor and later as features editor.

Since leaving in 2010 he had written articles for a number of different publications, mainly about football and his beloved golf.

Earlier in his career he worked as a sub-editor at the China Daily in Beijing and he has also written books about football.

Mayor of Bournemouth Cllr Phil Stanley-Watts said Kevin was a “great sports reporter” who was “first with the news” during some of AFC Bournemouth's most difficult times.

Fred Curtis, whose late wife Jeanne knew Kevin through charity cricket matches between Echo and Town Hall staff when she was mayor, said: “He was a very charming gentleman and very dedicated to his job.”