Family of well-known Hartlepool man pay tribute after tragic death in Australian mine accident
The family of a well-known Hartlepool man who died in a tragic mining accident in Australia have paid tribute to him.
Howard Prosser, 64, died as a result of injuries he sustained in the accident at the Roy Hill iron ore mine in Western Australia, where he worked, on Monday, January 27.
The much-loved dad of five was flown to hospital in Perth, but sadly died soon afterwards.
Mr Prosser, a plater/boiler maker, emigrated to Australia in 2006.
He was well-known in Hartlepool having played football and cricket, been a referee and cricket umpire, and was also a huge Hartlepool United fan.
An online fundraising page started by a family friend raised over £2,000 for his son Liam Prosser to be able to attend the funeral in Australia on February 10.
Liam asked people to remember his dad with a smile on their face.
He said: “Dad was fit and healthy but unfortunately due to the injuries he sustained he could not be saved.
“The whole family are grateful to the royal flying doctors and all members of staff in the ICU at Perth Royal Hospital for working as hard and as long as they possibly could on saving dad.
“Dad loved Hartlepool. He had many friends family and colleagues and will be deeply missed.”
Mr Prosser was married to Sue and also leaves behind daughters; Jodi, Lani, Zoe and Chelsea.
Liam added: “Dad loved playing football and cricket even though he would admit he wasn't very good he tried.
“He also loved to referee and umpire and I'm sure many reading this have been on the pitch or a spectator at a match.
“Everyone will have their own memories of dad, as a family we want you to remember him with a smile on your face because he would have hated all the sadness and tears.
“Now I've been left as head of the family I will keep his memory alive each and every day.”
Mr Prosser attended hundreds of Hartlepool United games following them home and away, and was an avid programme collector.
“Even when he moved to Australia in 2006 I'd get a call asking me to get him programmes and talk about the game,” added Liam.
Mr Prosser’s funeral will be streamed live over the internet to family back in England and Liam and his sisters are planning a memorial in Hartlepool later.
Liam also thanked friends for all their support for the family following the sudden and tragic news.
They include Gary Cunliffe who set up the GoFundMe page, St Francis FC which held sponsored walks, Ami Zumba Ford raising money for Liam’s wife while he is in Australia, and Shelley and Paul Jones of 23 Taxis.
“I'm very grateful to everyone who has helped out,” he said.
“This shows once again how great the people of Hartlepool are and rally round when someone in the town is in desperate need.
“Sleep tight dad love you X.”