THE family of Paralympic curler and well-known Falkland man Frank Duffy say they have been overwhelmed by the kindness and support they have received since his sudden death.
His mother Janet Duffy (78) and sister Rosie Craig told the Fife Herald the family were grateful for the tributes from people who knew Frank, including many messages from people across the world.
They said: “Anyone who had had the pleasure of meeting Frank could only have been touched by his depth of compassion for people.
“He had a zest for life that was infectious and touched so many peoples lives.
“He had the ability to make people believe in themselves and has left a legacy of hope for the future for all who knew him. He will be sadly missed.”
Mr Duffy (51) burned to death in his car in Falkland village hall car park last Wednesday night.
The Crown Office confirmed he had been due to appear at Cupar Sheriff Court the following day in connection with a number of incidents alleged to have occurred between January 2000 and November 2010.
It is understood Mr Duffy had split up with his second wife Carolanne, with whom he shared his specially adapted home in Falkland, and had been living at Tarvit Mill hostel near Cupar.
Mr Duffy had denied the allegations made against him and feared they would ruin his reputation in his home village.
As well as being a Paralympic curler, having skipped the Scotland team 2004-05 and winning a silver medal in the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games, Mr Duffy was the Director of British Curling from 2007-10.
Wheelchair Curling’s official website paid tribute, stating: “Frank was someone who put into the sport more than he took out . . . serving to develop and direct the sport he loved.”
Mr Duffy, who became wheelchair-bound 15 years ago after sustaining a spinal cord injury following an accident at work, was also a dedicated member of Falkland in Bloom.
A message posted on the organisation’s website said: “In the season just gone, Frank single-handedly totally refurbished a farm cart which now sits centrally on Brunton Green but was also closely involved in many other of our projects.
“A regular each week in our watering team, he drove our specially-adapted watering vehicle, tending the baskets and containers round the village and played a huge part at our nerve centre at Sugar Acre.
“We appreciated his contribution and his friendship; we are saddened at his passing and will remember him with affection.”
Close friend Jim Easton said: “This has all been a huge shock and it’s a lot to take in.”
Local councillor David MacDiarmid said: “He was a pillar of the community of Falkland and beyond.
“Nobody I have spoken to has had a bad word to say about him and that doesn’t surprise me.
“Frank was a champion with a heart of gold and the community of Falkland will be a sorrier place without him.”
Mr Duffy’s funeral is due to take place in Falkland Church on Thursday, December 30, at 10.30am before interment at the village cemetery at 11.45am.