Family's tribute to train tragedy victim

A LOVING husband and father is how Ipswich train tragedy victim Alan Smith will always be remembered.Today, his wife Julie and youngest daughter Gail spoke lovingly of the keen fisherman who lived for his family.

A LOVING husband, father and grandfather is how Ipswich train tragedy victim Alan Smith will always be remembered.

Today, his wife Julie and youngest daughter Gail spoke lovingly of the keen fisherman who lived for his family.

Mr Smith, 51, of Wherstead Road, Ipswich, died when he was struck by a Liverpool Street to Norwich passenger train around 7.10am on Thursday, near a tunnel close to Halifax Road.

Mrs Smith, who celebrated her 32nd wedding anniversary on July 18, said: “Thirty-two years with him has been heavenly.

“Alan was one of those people who would never say no to anybody. He cared for everyone.

“If anyone asked him to do something he would do it.

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“He was so laid-back and loved his fishing.

“Whatever you said he would turn it round and make it into a little joke.

“It is Alan's parents who are going to be affected most along with his younger brother. I feel more sorry for his parents than I do for myself at the moment because he loved them to bits.”

The couple met when they both worked at the Co-op in Carr Street, Ipswich - Julie as a Saturday girl and while Alan, a former Chantry Secondary Modern pupil, was in the menswear department.

As well as his 49-year-old wife, Mr Smith leaves two daughters, Dawn, 32, and Gail, 28, and three grandchildren.

Mrs Smith said: “He loved his grandchildren and would take them to the park while walking the dog.”

She added Mr Smith was well-known among the fishing fraternity at Pin Mill where he was the founder of the Flounder Fishing Club.

Mrs Smith, who works as a cleaner, said she last spoke to her husband, a cleaner at Curry's at Copdock, just as she was leaving for work on the day of his death before 4am.

She said: “Before I went to work the alarm went off. He woke up and said 'do you want a cup of coffee'.

“Alan made me a cup of coffee and went back to bed and said 'I will see you when I get back from work'.

“He seemed bright and cheerful.”

Mr Smith was due to finish work just after 11am but did not return home for his lunch.

Mrs Smith said she began to worry as time passed and rang round his friends to see if they knew where he was.

It was not until the British Transport police phoned her just after lunchtime on Thursday that her worst fears were confirmed.

Mrs Smith said: “I had a phone call from the police just before 2pm. They said they would be round within 15 minutes.

“One thing they did say was 'have you got people round you' and I said 'I have got my daughter, Dawn, here'.

“That's when they came and told me. It was like a big explosion of lots of different feelings, all mixed and churned up.”

Despite her own grief Mrs Smith said her heart goes out to the driver of the train which collided with Mr Smith.

She said: “I feel sorry for the train driver and what he's going through. It must have been hell of a shock for him.

“It will play on his mind for a long time.

“I would also like to thank all the family, friends and work colleagues for their understanding and kindness.”

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ALAN Smith youngest daughter, Gail, today paid her own tribute to the father she loved so much.

Here, in her own words, is how the 28-year-old will always remember him.

“My dad was a fun loving person. I could never fault him for what he did for us.

“He was kind and full of love for me and my sister and my mum. He loved his wife so much. He always showed us how much he loved us.

“He enjoyed going fishing with my brother-in-law Glen and my husband James.

“My dad was a massive Slade fan, he had all the records you could think of.

“I will always love you dad, you will always be in my heart. You're the best dad in all the world.

“My nannas and grandads will miss their son and son-in-law.

“May you rest in peace now dad. All the family will miss you, we all love you very much.

“Your grandchildren will miss you loads. You will never see them grow up you will always be part of them.”

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