Vaccine sceptic father, 34, dies from Covid after wishing to 'turn back time'

27 July 2021, 09:22 | Updated: 27 July 2021, 17:06

The 34-year-old contracted the virus and ended up in hospital.
The 34-year-old contracted the virus and ended up in hospital. Picture: Leanne Cheyne

By Emma Soteriou

A 34-year-old self-confessed vaccine sceptic has died with Covid, after wishing he could "turn back time".

Matthew Keenan - a football coach and father - passed away just weeks after contracting the virus.

His story was first shared online in early July by Dr Leanne Cheyne - a respiratory consultant at the West Yorkshire hospital.

"Matthew, has agreed for me to share his story. 34, footie coach & dad," she tweeted.

"Self-confessed vaccine sceptic until he caught Covid, if he could turn back time he would. Our sickest patients are unvaccinated & under 40. Matthew is fighting for his life... save yours."

Read more: Sir Keir suggests he supports vaccine passports for mass events but 'not for everyday use'

Read more: Free fully-vaccinated from having to isolate sooner than August, Boris Johnson told

Friends of Mr Keenan paid tribute to him after hearing of his passing.

Close friend Billy Brown paid tribute and said the world lost "the kindest man". 

Matthew was a "devoted dad, a fantastic friend, and an unbeatable coach," he said.

"As he was getting more poorly, he said he wished he had gotten the jab.

"I can't believe he's gone, he was the most likeable lad I've ever met."

In the UK, over 80 million vaccinations have been given out, with over 37 million having been fully vaccinated.

Evidence shows that getting the jab helps in breaking the link between Covid infection rates and hospitalisations and prevents people from falling seriously ill from the virus.

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