A young man who had a heart transplant at the age of nine has died from the side effects of the drugs that saved him 14 years ago.

Gavin Greig, 23, of Golcar, needed the transplant after contracting cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle.

Amazingly, just four months after undergoing the operation at a hospital in Newcastle, he was back at his desk at Golcar Junior and Infant School.

His grieving parents David and Ann, of Golcar, said their son died of cancer on Thursday, January 21 after being ill for some time.

Mr Greig said: “He went into A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary on December 16 after complaining of abdominal pains.

“Doctors found an ulcer and said he had a tumour. He was rushed into intensive care and then rushed to St James’s Hospital in Leeds on December 27 and he never left hospital.”

Gavin, a former student at a former Colne Valley High School, was featured in the Examiner when he competed at the British Transplant Games. Aged just 11 he won two gold medals and a silver.

Gavin Greig, pictured aged 11, as he prepared to compete in the British Transplant Games. He underwent a heart transplant aged nine.

Mr Greig added: “For 14 years he had no health complications and was able to lead a normal life.

“But unfortunately one of the side effects was that the anti-rejection drug he had to take for the transplant caused cancer and that’s what he died from.

“At least we had 14 good years with him.”

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After leaving school Gavin went to work in the engineering department at Thomas Broadbent’s in Huddersfield.

Mr Greig paid tribute to his son and said: “He loved sport and played for Golcar Cricket Club and football for Golcar United.

“He loved going abroad with his pals and was always the first on the list to go on stag dos.

“He went all over the world. Hamburg, Tenerife, Dubai and Thailand are just a few of the places he visited.”

Gavin leaves a sister Dawn, 32, and brother Darrell, 34.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be confirmed.