Partner tells of her family's loss

WAYNE Goode and Nikki Page were childhood sweethearts living just a mile down the road to one another.Life seemed perfect for the couple with their young baby, Sonny, and their plans to get married in Las Vegas with their loving families around them.

By Jessica Nicholls

WAYNE Goode and Nikki Page were childhood sweethearts living just a mile down the road to one another.

Life seemed perfect for the couple with their young baby, Sonny, and their plans to get married in Las Vegas with their loving families around them.

But in the early hours of New Year's Day, 28-year-old Wayne was hit by a car as he walked along the A134 near to Great Cornard. The driver of the car did not stop.

Today 28-year-old Nikki and Wayne's mum Sheila Goode paid tribute to the man who was so loved by everyone and had done so much in his life.

And again his devastated fiancée repeated her plea to the person driving the car to come forward to help them fit the pieces of that terrible night together.

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Nikki from Broomhill Road, Ipswich said: "I know that they must be scared but they have to come forward.

"It would help me unbelievably. I want to know what happened so that I have the full picture."

The couple had spent the evening at a party at the Saracen's Head pub in Newton Green near Sudbury.

At about 1am Wayne left the pub and began to walk along the A134 in the direction of Sudbury.

His body was found at around 2.50am in the road at Great Cornard by a motorist who had been forced to stop his car suddenly.

Surrounded by family, friends and 17-month old Sonny who is the spitting image of his father when he was young, Nikki was unable to hide her desperate sorrow as she remembered their lives together.

They grew up as children together in Kidderminster, Worcestershire and although drifted apart at secondary school they got back together some years later.

Ever the romanticist, Wayne had taken Nikki to Paris where he proposed to her and they had planned a wedding in Las Vegas with their family around them.

She said: "We did not go up the Eiffel Tower because the queues were really long but we did go to Disneyland – I've still got all the tickets."

With a smile Nikki remembered how they had told everyone to take two weeks off for the wedding but then found out she was pregnant with their first child Sonny, now 17 months old.

The wedding never took place as they concentrated on building a new life in Suffolk to bring up their beloved child.

They moved to Suffolk in December 2001 from London when Wayne heard that he had the job as a manager at the Primark store in Ipswich.

As soon as they heard that he had the job they came to Ipswich to scour the town for a house, even though Sonny was just five days old.

Nikki said: "We were living in Dartford at the time and it was very hard and very expensive.

"We wanted a new life maybe by the sea or more into the country.

"It was a really exciting time when we moved in, we had a lovely house and we loved it here."

Nikki told how Wayne thought the world of his little son. He had lost his own father Terry almost seven years ago.

She said: "He always talked about his dad and how he wanted to be just like him with Sonny.

"Even on the night he died he was talking about how his dad used to say not to let anyone give him any trouble.

"Because of Sonny's birthmark he would say that he would never let anyone hurt him."

Wayne was very close to his family, his mum Sheila and his younger sister Lisa, 23.

His shocked and devastated family, including his aunts, travelled over from the Midlands when they heard about his death.

Sheila's sister Pamela Gorman who lives in Birmingham told of how she had visited with Wayne's mum Sheila just before Christmas.

She said: "He was really looking forward to Christmas because this was the first one that Sonny would be able to understand what was going on.

"Me and Sheila came down and babysat so that he and Nikki could go out.

"It was the first time that I had been down, I never thought I would be down here for something like this."

Nikki and Wayne's family all agree that he was loved by everyone.

Another aunt, Jean O'Reilly from Shropshire said: "He was such a charmer, he could charm the birds off the trees."

Nikki said: "He always had to have the best clothes, he even had a perm.

"All the girls would be after him. Everyone in Kidderminster either knew him or knew of him."

To Nikki he was everything, he was her world.

She said: "He had the most fantastic sense of humour, always playing practical jokes.

"But when I needed him he was always there. Inside he was just a big softie.

"He was magnetic and all his friends wanted to be like him.

"He was such a lot of fun to be around, he was just amazing."

nSomeone somewhere must have some information about what happened to Wayne on New Years Day.

From debris left at the scene of the crash, Suffolk police believe the car that hit him was 1988 Ford model which suffered damage to its wing mirror and nearside headlight.

Since an emotional appeal on Thursday by the family, police have received ten calls in relation to the incident.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Suffolk police on 01473 613730 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

PANEL:

AS children they both lived in Kidderminster in Worcestershire and met when they were at middle school together at just ten years old, when Wayne would walk Nikki home from school.

When they both went to different secondary schools the two youngsters drifted apart and got on with their lives with different groups of friends.

While Nikki was studying at University in Preston, Lancashire, Wayne was hitting the club scene as a DJ in Tenerife.

He moved out there after spending a holiday there and his DJ career began to take off.

After 18 months he came back to England and opened his own record shop in Kidderminster but still continued as a DJ and became really well known in the area, DJing at big clubs in Birmingham, Ireland and even Denmark.

The couple met up again when a colleague of Nikki's mentioned that she was going to a party that night and Wayne would be the DJ.

Nikki asked her to say hi and tell him that it would be nice to see him again. He gave her his number through her friend and their relationship soon took off.

She said: "I still have the paper he wrote his number on, it was written on one of those tokens that you get in cigarette packets."

"It was when his DJing was just kicking off and we went all over the country at weekends – it was fun."

Eventually he decided to leave the club scene to get full time job and settle down, getting a job in a shop which led to work in London.

He started to work his way up with managerial positions in several big clothes stores and then in Primark in Hackney.

Nikki said: "He loved his job. It was really challenging and there was always lots of people around.

"He was a real people person, was never complacent and always put everything into anything he did.

"Everything was always 110 per cent."

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