The Clutha Tragedy: Neighbours in shock over loss of 'jovial big guy'

A COMMUNITY paid tribute to a dad-of-two who died in the Clutha Vaults tragedy, as fears grew for those still missing.

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Sammy McGhee, 56, from Castlemilk, was described as a "jovial big guy" who loved music and always had a smile on his face. He is the fifth victim to be named by police and one of the six people in the bar who died.

Tributes were earlier paid to Gary Arthur, 48, from Paisley, who was also in the pub at the time of the crash.

All three of the helicopter crew members - pilot David Traill, 51, and police officers Kirsty Nelis, 36, and Tony Collins, 43, also died in the crash.

John McGarrigle, 59, from Castlemilk, and Mark O'prey are missing, feared dead.

Widower Mr McGhee, who lost his wife Lizzie to illness around three years ago, leaves behind daughter Kerry and son Michael.

Neighbours called Mr McGhee, who loved football and supported Celtic, a "very kind man".

Emotions were running high in the area yesterday as residents, some of who were fighting back tears, came to terms with the news. Derek Smith, 52, said: "He always spoke to you and never had a smile off his face.

"We feel very shocked to find out that he's died. His wife was very nice too. He seemed a very kind man. He looked after her."

A 28-year-old neighbour, who asked not to be named, said she had been in touch with Mr McGhee's 20-year-old daughter Kerry, who is studying for a HND in Langside College and works at Cafe Costello in Cathcart.

His son Michael is understood to be living in Birmingham.

The neighbour said: "I've spoken to Kerry and she's still in shock. She's staying with family. She's worried about everyone else just now so I think when it hits her it will be very hard."

Mr McGhee was a popular man with many friends. Donald Mathieson, 52, used to meet him in the New Oasis bar next to Braes Shopping Centre.

Mr Mathieson said: "I met him on the bus a few weeks ago and that's the last time I saw him. He was a jovial big guy, he never had a bone of malice in his body."

Mr Mathieson said he may have travelled to the Clutha on Friday to hear some live music.

He said: "He used to sing a lot in the pub, he just loved his music. That was probably why he was at the Clutha.

"He stopped coming to the Oasis as much and he was going to a pub in Rutherglen.

"It was news to me that he was drinking in the Clutha. That's why it came as such a surprise when I find out he died."

Missing John McGarrigle is well known in Castlemilk and locals are fearing the worst.

Mr Mathieson said he knew his daughters Linda and Marie, and his son John. He said: "Nine people have died so far in this crash and two of them are from Castlemilk. We can't believe it.

"John is a good guy. I know his kids more than him and they are very, very close to their dad.

You can see the way young John is acting, how much they care for him."

Alfie Brown, 76, said: "We feel we've lost members of our community because they came from here. Everyone will struggle to come terms with it."

Another resident Eddie Mullen, 76, said: "It's a terrible tragedy and everyone will feel it in Castlemilk."

Andy Hinde, 64, added: "Everyone knows each other here. Everyone will pull together."

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