A PORTHMADOG fan who lost his life while undertaking his latest fundraising challenge will be ‘sorely missed’.

Michael Holt, 54, originally from Porthmadog but now living on the Wirral, was rowing 3,000 miles from Spain’s Gran Canaria to Barbados.

He set off on 27 January and was doing well but Michael, who had Type 1 diabetes, took ill. Updates on Facebook said he thought it was sea sickness. He took a break from rowing to recover and seemed to be okay but efforts to communicate with him went unanswered.

Sadly he was found dead inside his cabin by the crew of fishing vessel Noruego who accepted a tasking from Cape Verde Joint Rescue Coordination Centre.

Michael was raising money for Mind and Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services during this row, but last summer the Porthmadog FC fan rowed solo across the Irish Sea from Porthmadog Harbour to Wicklow and back to raise money for the club.

He used the challenge as preparation for this challenge across the Atlantic.

Porthmadog FC’s Dylan Elis said: “It’s hard to put words together in a situation like this. I don’t think I’ve sat in front of a computer before and tried to put down what is in my mind right now. Using the word ‘was’ rather than ‘is,’ is certainly difficult. Looking back at the life of this young man who had only just crawled over fifty, is also surreal.

“That last Sunday afternoon will certainly remain in the memory while I am on this earth. Settled in front of the TV to watch the Carabao Cup final, with Liverpool taking on Chelsea and the mind was swimming around like a garment in the washing machine.

“But and this is a BIG, ‘but’ a real stillness came after the click of a message reaching the mobile phone.

“My mind went blank, and my eyes closed as I read the few words. These words were difficult to take in.

“The game didn’t matter anymore. Yes, Van Dijk scored but that’s not why I will remember that afternoon – it’s that message about Michael Holt that will be etched in the mind from now on.”

He added: Michael’s strength was incredible, knowing he had suffered with diabetes for years but, the challenge ahead of him was certainly not going to overwhelm him.

“His determination to complete the trip was evident. His motivation for collecting money towards his special causes was high and he wouldn’t listen to anyone suggesting he would fail in his challenge.

“His preparation had been rigorous to the fullest over a very long period. He had practised at sea, in the gym and in a room at his home.

“I haven’t seen anyone with this so much focus before a challenge. There was no turning back.

“A lifetime’s ambition to pay back for the help he received with his cruel disease. In one word, he was indestructible.

“His love for Porthmadog Football Club was extreme. He would show his support all over the country. He didn’t want to miss games even though he now lived quite a distance from the Traeth.”

He went on: “A rowing trip to Ireland was completed by him in order to raise money for the club. He raised £1,916 by rowing from Porthmadog to Wicklow in Ireland last year. There was no stopping him.

“It’s hard to grasp what happened on his last trip. I don’t want to think about that, but I will remember Michael for a long time.

“I hope many will raise a glass to him at the Traeth, while celebrating his life, after it ended so unexpectedly out at sea. You will certainly be sorely missed my friend. Port Legend. Rest in Peace, Michael.”