Tributes to dedicated father and coach

By Liz HearnshawTRIBUTES have been paid to a loving father and coach to hundreds of youngsters who died in a road accident.Raymond Wells, 53, spent his spare time as a coach at the Bury St Edmunds-based West Suffolk Athletics Club and at after-schools clubs in the Forest Heath area.

By Liz Hearnshaw

TRIBUTES have been paid to a loving father and coach to hundreds of youngsters who died in a road accident.

Raymond Wells, 53, spent his spare time as a coach at the Bury St Edmunds-based West Suffolk Athletics Club and at after-schools clubs in the Forest Heath area.

He died after suffering a heart attack at the wheel, causing his green Ford Focus to leave the road and hit a telegraph pole on the A1065 in Mildenhall at 6.15pm on Sunday.


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Mr Wells, of Sandgalls Drive, Lakenheath, had been married to Naomi for 31 years and the couple had two children, Louisa, 20, and Abby, 19.

Louisa described her father as a “great man who touched the lives of so many” and “dedicated his life and time to all those he worked with”.

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Mr Wells had worked for Royal Mail as a postman for the past five years. He also worked as a teaching assistant one day a week at College Heath Middle School in Mildenhall and as an insurance broker in the evening.

A former athlete, Mr Wells loved his work at West Suffolk Athletics Club and was delighted when his Forest Heath team won at the Suffolk Youth Games this year.

Louisa said: “He was committed to each of his athletes at West Suffolk Athletics Club, who became a second family to him, his adopted children.

“He was proud of them all and loved to see them succeed whether it was in training or competition. He would almost always get more nervous watching his athletes than they would running.

“He was also keen to develop parental support throughout his group, as he gave to me when I competed. He would have wanted his athletes to carry on succeeding, proving his work was not a waste.”

Mr Wells was also a talented writer who would compose stories, riddles and poems, and who enjoyed abstract painting.

Louisa said her hard-working father stayed strong, even when his life was exhausting, and added: “He was a father to be proud of supported by a devoted wife.

“Supporting both daughters' ambitions was a passion they enjoyed together. He will be greatly missed by many, but never forgotten for his kind nature and professional skills.”

liz.hearnshaw@eadt.co.uk

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