Father-of-two dies in holiday stairs fall

TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved father-of-two who died following a tragic accident while on holiday in Portugal.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved father-of-two who died following a tragic accident while on holiday in Portugal.

Richard Payne, 36, was originally from Nottinghamshire but had been living in Suffolk for several years, most recently in Felixstowe.

He died after suffering serious injuries after apparently falling down a flight of stairs and banging his head in Albufeira in the Algarve on September 16.

Mr Payne’s two young children Gabi and Rhys live with their mother in Debenham and his funeral will be held in the parish church there next Tuesday.

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Dozens of moving messages have been left on a Facebook page set up in his memory, called Richard Payne - A Page for Tributes.

A tribute left by Neil Blomfield reads: “RIP mate - sadly missed. It’s always a waste to see a friend go so early in life but your memory will live on in our hearts for years to come, God bless Rich!”

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Another message, posted by Julian Cronin, said: “You were a true, true friend, mate. You will be very sadly missed. Sleep in God’s arms. RIP Rich, my friend. God bless you.”

Another friend, Steve Mcgovern, said: “Lost a truly great friend. Will be sadly missed.”

A picture has also been posted of the epitaph that will be used to pay lasting tribute to Mr Payne, a committed Nottingham Forest FC fan.

It reads: “Richard Payne. 02/03/74 - 16/09/10. Father, son, brother and a close friend to many. Payne by name...pain by nature. Taken way before his time, gone but never forgotten.”

The tablet, in dark grey marble, also carries an engraving of the crest of his beloved football team.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We can confirm that a British man, Richard Payne, died on September 16 in Albufeira, in Portugal, and next-of-kin have been informed.

“Consular assistance has been provided to the friend he was on holiday with and his family in the UK.”

Mr Payne’s funeral will be at St Mary’s Church in Debenham High Street on Tuesday October 5 at 2.30pm and anyone attending has been asked to dress in brightly-coloured clothes and to make any donations to the British Heart Foundation, care of Pecks funeral Service.

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