A Carrickfergus bodybuilder who died the day after competing in the World Championships in Malta has been described as a “great ambassador for Carrick.”
Jim Henderson, aged 54, passed away on Father’s Day (Sunday, June 21) after placing sixth in the world in the previous day’s competition.
He leaves behind his wife Kathy and children Nicole and James.
The night before his death, Jim posted a picture of himself with his sixth place trophy on social media, along with the caption: “Just finished world championships in Malta, 6th in the world! Thanks to everyone who supported me!”
Tributes have been paid to the local man following his tragic passing.
Steven Stone, manager of the Flex gym, Belfast, where Jim trained, described him as “a gentleman who will be sadly missed”.
He stated: “He had been coming here for the past two years and he was a hard worker and was happy to give advice to anyone who asked for it.
“No-one had a bad word to say about him.
“He was in fantastic shape, he was always here and would have been down before the gym even opened in the morning.”
Steven saw Jim for the final time last week, when he says the Carrick bodybuilder was looking forward to travelling to Malta.
“He couldn’t wait for it,” revealed Stephen.
“What a thing to happen, especially on Father’s Day. I would like to offer my condolences to his family.”
Mid and East Antrim Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe also offered his condolences to Jim Henderson’s family and friends.
“It is a big shock to lose someone who was at the peak of their fitness,” he stated. “He was a great ambassador for Carrick for many years.”
Jim worked as a senior logistics agent in supply chain at aerospace firm Bombardier.
The company stated: “We are shocked and saddened by Jim’s sudden death and our thoughts are with his family.”
It is understood a post mortem will be carried out in Malta before Jim’s remains can be released to his family.
A statement by the Henderson family said: “It is with unparalleled sadness that we have learned of the passing of James, a loving husband and father.
“James passed away in Malta where he had been competing in the world bodybuilding championships, representing Northern Ireland.
“While we deal with this devastating news, we the Henderson family and wider family circle, would respectfully request we are given the appropriate time and privacy to do so.”
The day before his death, Jim had competed in the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA) World Championships.
NABBA’s Northern Ireland representative Dave Warner posted a message of condolence on social media.
“It’s with great sadness to share the news that Jim Henderson passed away this weekend,” he stated.
“Jim had just competed & placed 6th at the Worlds.
“The news comes as a great shock to everyone & my thoughts & sincerest condolences are with his family & friends at this sad time.”