The chairman of a Sydenham boxing club has paid tribute to his right-hand man who “meant the world” to him after he died suddenly aged 39.

Dean Taylor, a dad-of-two from Hayes, died after suffering a heart attack on Sunday. His body was discovered by Barry Sandford, Dean’s boss and father-in-law.

Before Dean’s untimely death, he had been working with Barry, 52, to build a new home for St Andrew’s Boxing Club after it was kicked out of St Andrew’s Church in Bellingham three months ago.

News Shopper:

Reds Wasolua, boxing coach, with Barry Sandford and Dean Taylor at the new site of the club

“Every single day he was there with me. These days are hard,” Barry told News Shopper, describing how he would pick up his son-in-law for work every morning.

“He loved his porridge. If I used to turn up early in the morning, he’d say, ‘I’ve not had my porridge yet’,” he joked.

When Barry went to Dean’s house on Sunday evening, he noticed Dean’s porridge bowl and spoon on the kitchen counter.

“He was getting ready for work the next day,” Barry explained.

Speaking to News Shopper in June, Dean explained how he had taken half-wages while he worked with Barry to fix up the boxing club.

News Shopper:

The new site of the club needs a lot of work

The club had been working with troubled youngsters in Catford to get them off the streets, even offering free sessions for those who couldn’t afford to pay.

READ MORE: Boxing club helping kids out of crime vows to keep running after it was 'kicked out' of church

It had also set up a knife amnesty where people could deposit their knives with no questions asked.

Barry has vowed to continue fixing up the club in Dean’s memory, arguing “we have to carry on for him.”

Barry, who has custody of Dean’s five-year-old son Hunter, described his son-in-law as someone who “would do anything to make anyone happy.”

“He would always be there for his son. There wasn’t a day that he didn’t come over and visit his son.

“When he comes to my house, he comes to the bay windows and sticks his head through. You open the door and it’s just that big grin and, ‘alright Bal?’.”

Welling up, the club chairman and roofer described how he told little Hunter about his dad’s death.

“I sat him on the bed and said: ‘Daddy’s not been well. He’s had to go up on the clouds and he’s got a pair of wings’, and he just looked at me and didn’t know what to do.”

Despite Barry’s grief, he has been “overwhelmed” with kind messages of support from people who loved Dean and have sent their best wishes.

“The response is unreal. People are saying such nice things,” he said.

“He was 39 years old and he had never been on a plane. I said I’d take him on a plane for his 40th birthday.

“I really loved him. Nothing was ever a problem for him.”

As Barry grieves for his friend and son-in-law, he has taken comfort in remembering the last words he said to Dean the day before he died.

“I said to him: ‘Thanks for everything you’ve done today mate. I love you to bits’.”