DEVASTATED loved ones of a charity champion who raised over £100k for good causes have paid tribute after he lost his battle against cancer.

Friends of Danny Knox poignantly came together to raise thousands of pounds for a cause close to his heart at a golf day played just days after he passed away.

The much-loved Greenock man had been involved in the planning of the event, played at his beloved Gourock Golf Club in aid of the Ardgowan Hospice.

In the weeks leading up to the fundraiser the hugely popular cafe owner had spoken to the Tele about how much it meant to him that his friends were organising the day in his name.

Sadly the brave 39-year-old slipped away on May 7, with the golf day going ahead on Friday in his memory, with a charity ball to come later in the year.

Greenock Telegraph: Barrs Cottage Cafe owner Daniel Knox shocked after planning permission is retrospective refused for

Dad-of-three Danny slipped away following a fight with cancer of the bladder, spending his final days in the care of the team at the hospice.

Danny, who grew up and lived in Greenock, spoke to the Tele at the hospice recently in the build-up to the golf day, saying: "I have absolutely loved raising money for charities, lots of different charities, over the years.

"It is just in my blood. It is something that I will continue to do until my dying breath, which sadly is going to be very, very soon."

Despite his failing health Danny had bravely insisted that he wanted to talk about the fundraiser and how much it meant to him after the 'amazing' care he'd received in the hospice.

The family man was devoted to his partner Catherine and his children Ross, 25, Karyss, 15, and Ava, 11.

Two years ago he fulfilled a dream by opening up his own business, a cafe at Barrs Cottage.

But it was while working for Creditfix that he earlier found a flair for fundraising, and he was soon organising big events.

Through his charity work he became close friends with two of his Celtic heroes, goalkeeper Rab Douglas and ex-striker John Hartson.

The pair both visited him in the hospice.

Greenock Telegraph: Close friends Paul Stinson and Patrick Marner help organise eventClose friends Paul Stinson and Patrick Marner help organise event (Image: George Munro)

Danny was over the moon that all of his close knit friends, many who grew up together in Larkfield, were supporting the hospice through the charity event.

His death is sadly the second tragedy to hit the group. Two years ago they lost pal Marc Fairbairn, who had fought a 15-year battle with Motor Neurone Disease.

Throughout it all big-hearted Danny and his friends had supported Marc and his family, raising thousands of pounds in his name.

The group of big-hearted Greenock friends once again rallied behind Danny during his ill-health. He had been receiving treatment up until earlier this year.

Greenock Telegraph:

His celebrity pal Rab stepped in to play a key role in the charity day, handing out prizes and hosting the raffle and auction.

Around 100 players took part in the golf tourney, finishing with a raffle and auction.

By the end of the day they had raised more than £20,000.

Paying a moving tribute at the golf day opening Elaine Grealey, from Ardgowan, said: " I know this is a bittersweet day and it is still very raw.

"We were honoured to be able to care for Danny in recent times, we hope that we have been able to make a difference to not only Danny but to Catherine, Ross, Karyss and Ava and all of the wider circle of family and friends.

"Lots of people think working in a hospice is a job but I can honestly say it is more than that. We are privileged that you become part of our family and you trust us to be part of yours.

"We try our upmost to make the worst times of your life that wee bit easier and more gentle. But it does affect us and with characters like Danny, young, vibrant and fun, it hits us all hard.

"Danny wanted today to be a celebration, the sun is shining down on us and so is Danny."

Greenock Telegraph:

In recent weeks many other people have organised charity events for Danny, including his daughter's dancing school.

His funeral will take place on Friday May 17 at Greenock Crematorium at noon.