A GRIEVING brother and life coach has spoken out about the dangers of alcoholism and drugs after tragically losing his sister.

Kathleen Magee, who grew up in the Highercroft area of Blackburn, died earlier this month aged just 39.

And brother John, who launched Streets UK with Blackburn Rovers midfielder David Dunn, said her death drove home the potential impact alcohol and drugs can have.

He said: “Unfortunately she had problems with substance misuse which took its toll.

“I work as a youth worker and raise awareness of the risks alcohol and drugs can pose.

“I got myself out of that life when I was younger but sadly Kathleen was not able to and it caught up with her in the end.”

Kathleen, who had been living in Lancaster with her partner Stuart, also left behind her mum and dad Pat and John and 20-year-old daughter Leona Russell.

She grew up in Roman Road and went to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Primary School and later Our Lady and St John Catholic College.

Mr Magee said she would be remembered well by primary school classmates ‘for her stone-throwing abilities’.

From there, John described his sister as a ‘traveller whose spirit was searching for something’.

He said: “She lived a colourful life and she lived her life in the fast lane.

“Anyone that knew her knew she was a caring person and would do anything for anyone.

“She had her own way of volunteering and looking after people.

“She was my rock. When we were kids she was my bodyguard, and I was older than her! She could look after herself and she really stuck up for me as well.”

Mr Magee said although she had left the area, living in Blackpool and most recently Lancaster, she was very proud of her roots.

He said: “She was proud that she grew up in Roman Road in Highercroft. Kathleen was a character who was loved by many and will be missed by a lot more.”

Kathleen’s funeral will be on Monday from 10am at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church in Holmbrook Close, Blackburn.