Retired paramedic who rejoined frontline a "hero" after losing life to COVID-19

The family of a former NHS paramedic who died after being diagnosed with the virus last month have labelled him a "real hero".

Graham Hunter lost his life on Monday, February the 1st. Despite retiring, he'd gone back to help his NHS colleagues during the pandemic but caught the illness himself and passed away.

The grandad-of-two was well-known for his role at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium as well as working for the health service and voluntary work in grassroots football.

Middlesbrough Football Club paid tribute to Graham Credit: GAZETTE MEDIA COMPANY SYNDICATION

Hundreds of touching tributes have been shared on social media and the family has been sent "comforting" messages following the devasting news.Graham's son Andrew Hunter said: "I don't think we realised how popular he was."The messages are really hard to read but we can take comfort knowing how loved he was."The 61-year-old "loved making a difference" and "affected so many people from all walks of life".After retiring at the age of 50, dad-of-two Graham went back to work to help the covid-10 pandemic.He was based on the frontline at Whitby Minor Injuries Unit working as an emergency care practitioner since March, last year.Graham "loved" being back at work and the move "never phased him, he just wanted to take the pressure of his colleagues".

The devoted dad sadly passed away on February 1 surrounded by his close family Credit: GAZETTE MEDIA COMPANY SYNDICATION

The NHS worker was born and raised in Stockton as one of five brothers.He met his wife Linda in a hospital setting when she worked as a nurse, and the pair have been married for over 35 years.The much-loved family man, who lived in Acklam, was also dad to Andrew and Rachael and had two granddaughters, Lacey and Isobel.