Tight-knit community gets behind grieving families

THE LANDLORD of the village pub frequented by the victims has said the community will “rally round” and support their families.

Yesterday, Nigel Wallace, landlord of the Cock Inn pub in Stanton, and who knew the four friends, spoke of the mood in the village.

Mr Wallace, who is a fundraiser at Stanton FC, said everyone felt low, and he spoke of his own grief for the loss of the lads he had seen grow from boys to men.

The Cock Inn has been a place for people to grieve for and remember Tom, Daniel (Danny), Peter (PJ) and Adam.

A Vespa scooter sign bought for PJ for Christmas has turned into a shrine in the pub, with well-wishers adding flowers and candles.

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Mr Wallace, who has owned the pub for 13 years, said the candles had not gone out since they were lit on Friday night.

He said PJ, who was a fan of Vespa scooters, was a resident DJ at the pub, where his DJ career began, and Tom was part of the pool team there.

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Mr Wallace said: “Friday night people were coming from as far away as Bury and Thetford.

“People who knew PJ through his discos and stuff like that and knew Danny and Tom and Adam just to see if it was true.

“We were full, but the pub was so flat. It was surreal.

“Then on Saturday night, we had no football, because we cancelled the games for Stanton and the reserve team, but we had people just wanting to come in and celebrate their lives. We couldn’t get another person in the pub.”

Mr Wallace added how the men’s families came for a little while, but he thought it was quite overwhelming.

He said the families had received many offers of help and support and the close-knit community of Stanton would “rally round and get them sorted”.

Mr Wallace said PJ, who was due to DJ at the pub last Saturday night, loved ska music and followed a band called Skasouls, who played at the pub on PJ’s birthday on December 29.

The band has offered to play at the wake, Mr Wallace said, and it is hoped they will play on December 29 this year at the pub as a memorial.

On Friday the band posted on its Facebook page: “Today we have lost a great friend and one of the nicest people you could ever meet. PJ, you will be greatly missed.”

Mr Wallace added how the Stanton FC number three shirt, which Danny wore while at the club, would be retired from the club and buried with him.

Tributes left at the war memorial in Stanton include one from Matty and Lisa Fulcher and Taliah.

It said: “Dan, Tom and PJ, words cannot describe how we are all feeling right now. Three fab friends taken from us all. Our thoughts are with your families. RIP our friends.”

Another read: “Our deepest thoughts and sympathy are with you and your families at such a difficult time. RIP lads, you will always be deeply missed.”

Raymond King, posting a tribute on the EADT website, said he had only known the lads for a short time, but they were “sound as a pound”.

“We laughed and wound each other up about carp fishing v match fishing or Ipswich v Norwich, but words fail me, my thoughts and deepest condolences are with all family and friends.

“I know how close you boys all were, and its impossible to comprehend. And impossible to know what to say. Again, my thoughts are with all of you...raz x”

Barry Coleman, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “For four men to have gone to work in Great Yarmouth on Friday but to never have returned home is a terrible tragedy.

My deepest sympathies go out to their families, friends and colleagues.

“As a way of paying our respects, the borough council is flying the flag on the town hall at half mast and the mayor has passed on the condolences of Great Yarmouth Borough Council and its residents to both Claxton Engineering and Hazegood Construction via letter.”

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