A DEVOTED dad of two who died while riding his bike has been described as a fun, loving young man who lived life to the full.
Stuart Andrew Watson (33) died of a brain haemorrhage from an undiagnosed aneurysm, leaving his fiancee, Sam Pawley, and children Jamie (11) and Skie-Lea (4) heartbroken.
Nicknamed “Jack Flash” for his speedy escapades on his beloved bike, Stuart, who lived in Russell Court, Burnley Wood, was returning from running errands when he collapsed and fell off his bike in Parliament Street on Thursday afternoon. He was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital where he died shortly after his soulmate Sam arrived.
Stuart, who was born in Burnley and spent his childhood in Wales, was a joker who delighted in making people laugh. He returned to the town in his early teens and attended Barden High School.
Six years ago, Stuart and Sam fell in love at first sight and the couple were soon expecting Skie-Lea.
“We were soulmates. We finished each others sentences and knew what each other was going to do before we did it,” said Sam.
Within weeks of getting together, Stuart proposed. Using money from his first wage from his job at Tenneco-Walker, he bought Sam a ring and a rose.
“It was after a night shift and he woke me up, got down on one knee and proposed,” she added.
When Skie-Lea was born, Stuart and his daughter developed a strong bond and he was often seen carrying the little girl in a baby carrier on his back They were inseparable.
After a stint at Tenneco-Walker, Stuart also worked on scrap wagons with his uncle and at Warburtons and Neville Gee. His spare time was filled with playing snooker with his son, Jamie, fishing and bargain-hunting at car boot sales. He loved family holidays in Great Yarmouth and Scotland and was thrilled when Sam realised one of his long-held dreams, buying him a ticket to see his favourite band Oasis in concert.
Stuart, whose mother Bev died several years ago, did have a wild streak, but his family said that he never meant to hurt people and had a good heart.
His dad, Mark Pennington, added: “He was no angel while he was here, but he is an angel now.”
While the family has a raft of memories, Sam said: “ We will miss him terribly. If you were ever sad, Stu would do the silliest things to put a smile on your face. We have been left heartbroken, he really was one of a kind.”
Stuart leaves his fiancee, children, dad, granddad Alan, four sisters, two brothers and an extended family of nephews, nieces and cousins.
The funeral will be held at noon on Tuesday at St Stephen’s Church in Burnley Wood followed by a service at Burnley Crematorium.