Tributes to man with a smile for everyone

Richard Brocklehurst
Richard Brocklehurst
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Tributes have been paid after the tragic death of a man, described by his friends and family as a ray of sunshine.

Richard Brocklehurst died on Thursday, August 8 after a four-year battle with 
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He was 29.

He worked for the family business Portess of Oakham, in Melton Mowbray, where he was a carpet fitter.

His mum Janet described him as the “most wonderful son”, and fiancée Amy Ball said he was the “best fiancé in the world”.

Richard was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and was being treated at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. In April this year he was admitted to the hospital from where “he never made it back”, Amy said.

Shortly before he died, the couple, who had planned to get married next year, had a special blessing at Richard’s hospital bedside.

Amy said: “We had been good friends for 14 years and five years ago, when I came back home from university, we became more than friends.

“We had lots of plans and lots of dreams. Getting married was one of them but we were not sure what would happen.

“Knowing that if he did not get better we may not have a big wedding, we thought we could at least have a 
blessing.”

Amy, who runs her family’s Catmose Farm, in Oakham and works at the town’s department store Fords, said she would miss his big ‘hello’ which you could “hear a mile away”.

She added: “Richard was my big ray of sunshine that always smiled no matter what.”

A volunteer for the Rutland Water Rescue Team, Richard was also carer for a disabled boy, Philip Lamb, on top of his day job.

Janet said: “It takes a really special person to be able to do what he did for Philip. He was incredible with him and would arrange all sorts of outings.

“He made me the proudest mum in the world.”

His brother Alan, who also works at Portess of Oakham, said: “A man mountain, a true gentleman, soft on the outside and a rock on the inside. His near last words... I’ll be fine.

“He was a real people person, very sociable and had a devoted customer fan base at work.”

Since Richard’s death his friends have posted numerous tributes on Facebook.

Steve Bowley, who was a patient at Leicester Royal Infirmary with Richard, wrote on the social networking site: “Throughout the scariest time of my life I found myself in the company of heroes. It gives me such grief that I have lost one of these heroes.

“Richard was a tremendously strong man who will never be forgotten.”

Gemma Wyles wrote: “He was a brave, inspirational gentleman who had a cheesy grin for everyone and an absolute heart of gold.”

During his career, Richard gained a prestigious certificate from the National Institute of Carpet Fitters and went on to launch his own business, which ran alongside Portess, as a carpet whipper and binder.

Richard was also passionate about cars and volunteered as a marshal at Silverstone racetrack. He and Alan also ran a Melton Modified car club which gained a big following.

Richard is also remembered for his love of food, collecting Lego and being the man in the know when it came to electronics and computers.

A service to celebrate Richard’s life is being held at St Mary’s Church in Melton at 3.15pm today.