Bury St Edmunds: Family pay tribute to ‘much-loved’ man killed in New Zealand earthquake

A SUFFOLK man who has been missing since the New Zealand earthquake struck has died, it has been confirmed.

Yesterday, the family of Phil Coppeard, who was originally from Moulton, near Newmarket, heard the news that he had died in the magnitude-6.3 quake which devastated Christchurch on February 22.

Mr Coppeard, 41, a chartered accountant, moved there with his wife Suzanne last November.

He was the son of Barry and Barbara Coppeard and brother to Joanne Morley, all from Bury St Edmunds.

A statement from them and his wife said: “Phil is a much-loved and missed husband, son, brother and brother-in-law, grandson, son-in-law, uncle, cousin and nephew.


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“He was a very generous spirit, always keen to be involved in community and charity events.

“Phil had a successful career in finance with Touche Ross, Airtours and Babcock and Brown as an investment banker in the air finance industry.

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“His death is a tragedy at the start of an exciting new life in New Zealand.

“We take comfort in the support we have had from family and friends throughout the world.

“He touched so many lives.”

Mr Coppeard, a life-long Ipswich Town fan, had been on his way to Canterbury University for what would have been the second day of his Masters course in economics when the earthquake hit.

He was last seen boarding a bus that travels through the centre of the city.

His family and friends have endured an agonising wait to hear any news since the tremor, in which more than 200 people have been reported missing and more than 160 have died.

Mr Coppeard attended St Felix Middle School and Newmarket Upper School before moving to study history and economics at Manchester University.

He met Suzanne, whom he married in 2007, while living in London and the pair then moved to Dubai before settling in her home country of New Zealand.

Ipswich Town supporter Mr Coppeard was a regular contributor to fan site Those Were the Days, and passed on the remainder of his 10-year season ticket to the Supporters’ Club.

Camilla Haycock, Ipswich Town’s media and PR manager, said as a club they were saddened to hear of his death.

She said club had initiated a fundraising campaign to help the victims of the Christchurch earthquake.

“Asking Tommy [defender] to donate his shirt and get the lads to sign it so that we could auction it off on the club’s eBay site struck us as a great way to raise funds for the earthquake appeal,” she said.

The eBay site can be accessed via www.itfc.co.uk. The auction is due to finish this weekend.

Proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross’ New Zealand Earthquake Appeal.

To support the appeal directly www.redcross.org.uk/NZEarthquake.

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