Tributes flood in after tragic death of ‘amazing’ Hartlepool dad, 32

FAMILY LIFE:  Richard pictured with his son Lewis Bradley in 2008.
FAMILY LIFE: Richard pictured with his son Lewis Bradley in 2008.

DEVASTATED family and friends have paid tribute to a popular dad, left paralysed after a freak accident, following his tragic death aged just 32.

Richard Bradley who was left wheelchair-bound as a result of his accident, was described as “an amazing bloke” by loved ones.

Richard with son Lewis at Miles for Men

Richard with son Lewis at Miles for Men

The 32-year-old battled back from depression after being told he would never walk again after his accident in 2007.

He severed his spinal cord, broke all his ribs and punctured both lungs after falling 26 feet from a platform while working as a cable puller in Crawley, West Sussex.

The company was later fined £120,000 and Richard received a compensation payout.

Dad Terry helped to pull Richard back from the brink in hospital by showing him a picture of his son Lewis, now 12, as a baby.

Richard Bradley appeared in the Mail ahead of his parachute jump for charity in 2008

Richard Bradley appeared in the Mail ahead of his parachute jump for charity in 2008

• Leave tributes to Richard in our comments section below this story or visit the Mail’s Facebook page.

Richard also later credited his wife-to-be Sarah Owens for being there for him through his dark days. The couple later tied the knot in 2011.

He died at home in the Rift House area of Hartlepool, on Tuesday, February 3.

Today his family said they had been deeply moved by the scores of cards and hundreds of messages of support they have received.

Richard in the last picture taken of him (far right) at a recent Miles for Men darts fundraiser with dad Terry and son Lewis.

Richard in the last picture taken of him (far right) at a recent Miles for Men darts fundraiser with dad Terry and son Lewis.

Richard’s dad Terry Bradley, 55, said: “He was the apple of our eyes. We were devoted to him.

“We’ve had messages from Canada and Australia. We can’t thank everybody enough for their support.”

Richard’s mum Lesley, 55, added: “He idolised his son and Lewis idolised him. I’ve had about 300 messages. I’ve had messages off people I don’t even know but they knew Richard.

Despite being confined to a wheelchair Richard did not let it get in his way and was well known in the town for supporting various charities, in particular Miles for Men, and on the local snooker scene.

FAMILY LIFE. Richard Bradley (25) who is confined to wheelchair after breaking his back a year ago. Richard is pictured with his son Lewis Bradley (5). Picture by GARY WORT'IRN'CATCHLINE:hm0408richard6

FAMILY LIFE. Richard Bradley (25) who is confined to wheelchair after breaking his back a year ago. Richard is pictured with his son Lewis Bradley (5). Picture by GARY WORT'IRN'CATCHLINE:hm0408richard6

He played in the Hartlepool Over 50s and Disabled Snooker League and impressed players with his potting skills.

Terry added: “He had only been playing for three years but he was potting balls better than us, he was getting that good.

“He got involved with a few different charities. Cancer was something that was close to his heart because people in the family have had it.

“He loved doing Miles for Men.”

As well as taking part in the cancer race in his wheelchair – pushed one year by Lewis – Richard promoted the charity through the snooker league and attended various charity events.

He paid £400 for a board signed by all the top pros at a darts night just a couple of weeks ago.

Miles for Men founder Micky Day, who was also good friends with Richard, said: “He was one of the first people to enter the run even though he was in his wheelchair.

“He took the charity on and spent countless amounts of money at darts shows.

“We are really grateful to him for supporting the charity as much as he did.

“He was an amazing bloke and a cracking dad.”

Richard also raised £3,726 for James Cook hospital’s spinal injuries unit, which cared for him after his accident, by doing a parachute jump only a year after his fall.

Richard’s parents have kept every newspaper cutting charting his recovery and charity work.

He also leaves two sisters; Kelly, 37, and Terri, 35.

His funeral will take place at St Aidan’s Church, on Thursday.

• Leave tributes to Richard in our comments section below this story or visit the Mail’s Facebook page.