Friends’ touching tribute to ‘life of the party’ Zac, 28, who died days after getting married


Friends of a Bury man who died just days after getting married are set to walk 14 miles in his memory. Zachary McNally, known as Zac, sadly died on April 15 following a two-and-a-half year stay in hospital.

Tragically, his death came just days after marrying his fiancée, Amy. The 28-year-old had proposed to her by holding up a sign from her hospital window.

Zac — who was known as Zac Mac in Manchester United-supporting circles — was only 25 when he was diagnosed with leukemia in autumn 2019. He was admitted to hospital shortly before Christmas that year.

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Initially, he had a steady stream of visitors, but the pandemic meant those trips had to stop, although dad Ian, mum Lynne, and Amy were able to visit after a while. Despite the difficult circumstances, doctors successfully carried out a stem cell transplant to ‘cure’ him of the disease, his step-mum, Karen Stringer, said.

“He was just a larger-than-life character that everyone is going to miss,” she added. “He had hundreds of friends we are expecting to come to the funeral,” she added.

“He was actually cured of leukemia because he had a stem cell transplant. That cured him of the blood cancer. Because he was so ill, he was induced into a coma. He could not fight infections… but we’re not sure what the doctors will say his cause of death was.

Zac McNally, who died after a two and a half year hospital stay at the age of 28 on Good Friday, 2022

“I passed away on Good Friday. All his close family of him were there for the final week. On Wednesday that week, he perked up and he was allowed friends to see him. They came out in tears but they said he had a laugh even then.”

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Now Zac’s friends Matt Garnett, Connor Ryan, Matthew Beaumont, Alex Dugdale and Thomas Smale, are all set to walk 14 miles to help raise money for a bench in Zac’s memory. The journey will begin at Old Trafford on June 3 and end at Ramsbottom Cemetery, where Zac has been laid to rest.

speaking to the manchester evening news, Matt Garnett, 28, said: “When me and Zac were younger, we were close friends. I was in the Army and when I would come back from training I would go to his house from him.

“When we were younger, we were quite close. But as you grow up you don’t speak as much but whenever we saw each other we would pick it up from where we left off straight away.

Zacs’ friends on a sponsored walk last year

“With Covid and him being in hospital, we weren’t able to visit him as much as we wanted to. Last year we arranged to walk from the Hare and Hounds in Ramsbottom to Old Trafford.

“With him passing, we wanted to bring him home so to speak. We’re going to finish this walk at the cemetery.

“Zac was the life of the party. If you walked into a room and he was there, you would know, and for good reasons. He was a joker; he was a happy lad that would light up a room.”

Anyone interested in donating can follow the link by clicking here.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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