Albion are mourning the loss of long-serving employee Richard Eades, who sadly passed away yesterday at the age of just 42.— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) December 27, 2017
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.#WBAhttps://t.co/NLvRfQSB8K
"Richard, pictured left, embarked on almost 30 years’ service at the Club as a 14-year-old - working as a member of the ground staff and then the coaching staff before taking on the roles of several Albion mascots
"He amassed many friends at The Hawthorns, all of whom were shocked and deeply saddened by his untimely death.
"The thoughts of all at West Bromwich Albion are with his fiancé Carly and his two young children, Lily-Mae, 8, and Archie, 3."
Sad to hear the news regarding @Richard_Eades today. A real genuine guy who has left a positive impression with many. When officiating he understood the value in people, and certainly earned my respect! Thoughts are with his family. ⚽ pic.twitter.com/I0DYmhLG4h— Tim Dudding (@Timdudding) December 26, 2017
Best friend of Eades, and fellow mascot David Challoner also paid tribute to the late father:
"He was best man at my wedding and a great friend.
"Most of all he was Albion through and through and we will miss him greatly.
"We have been overwhelmed by the messages of support from across the football community and I'd like to thank everyone for their kind messages at this difficult time."
The club also announced that they will pay full tribute to Eades before their New Year’s Eve fixture against Arsenal.