Tributes have been paid to the general manager of the Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum, who died after suffering a heart attack outside Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium.
David Henderson, aged 57, was on his way home from the Cobblers match against York on Saturday with his nine-year-old son, Alex, when he collapsed at the wheel of his car.
A St John’s Ambulance volunteer and two off-duty policeman helped get Mr Henderson out of his vehicle and give him emergency resuscitation. However, he died shortly after being taken to Northampton General Hospital.
Mr Henderson has worked at the Stoke Bruerne Canal Museum since 2006 and deputy manager Louise Stockwin said all staff members were all deeply saddened by his death.
She said: “David and I had worked together for seven years or more. It’s a very small team here and everybody really pulls together.
“There are the Friends of the Canal Museum that work her, the volunteers and the educational team.
“It’s like losing one of the members of the family.”
“He was very cheerful. He liked to think of himself as a ‘10-minute manager’. If somebody came up with an idea he liked to get it done and dusted in 10 minutes. He encouraged the young volunteers. He was very forward thinking, he had lots of get up and go.”
During Mr Henderson’s time at the museum he has helped set up and run the hugely popular Village at War event.
Mrs Stockwin said: “For these things to work, you need everybody to come together and make sure things happen, and he was one of those who made things happen.
“We all send our condolences to his family.”
Chairman of the Friends of the Canal Museum, David Blagrove, said: “He’s a great loss. He came to the museum at a time when it was in a very rundown condition.
“The Friends had been formed a short while before to try and improve things, and we worked together.
“He certainly turned the fortunes of the museum round and introduced all sorts of new things to bring in young people, such as a Pirates Weekend in the school holidays, which have not only made the museum more prosperous but also more popular.
“He joined in very enthusiastically with events we put on in support of the museum.
“All of us are pretty knocked back by his early demise.
“He brought a fresh look at things and generally speaking he made a great deal of difference to the museum and let’s hope it carries on that way.”
Mr Henderson leaves his wife, Amanda, three children and grandchildren.