Man dies just weeks before wedding

Adam Swanwick with his fiance Louise Ayre.''Adam collapsed and died of a massive heart attack on September 2 as the couple were on their way to taste food for their wedding, which was set to be held on October 27 at Garstang St Thomas' Church
Adam Swanwick with his fiance Louise Ayre.''Adam collapsed and died of a massive heart attack on September 2 as the couple were on their way to taste food for their wedding, which was set to be held on October 27 at Garstang St Thomas' Church
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A 28-year-old amateur footballer died after suffering a massive heart attack – as he was on his way to taste food for his wedding at a Lancaster venue.

Adam Swanwick, from Catterall, near Preston, who was known by his nickname ‘Jags’, was the passenger in a car being driven by his fiancée Louise Ayre on Sunday afternoon.

The couple, who were due to marry at Garstang St Thomas’ Church on October 27, were on their way to try food for their wedding breakfast at Lancaster Golf Club.

But as they travelled through back roads near Condor Green at around noon, he collapsed.

His fiancée tried to administer first aid and attempts continued as paramedics were called to take him to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

But he died later that afternoon in the intensive care ward.

Today, his devastated family and friends paid tribute to “the most genuine man you could ever meet”.

Dance instructor Louise, 25, said: “We were driving, and he basically just had a fit, or it seemed like that, but he was having a heart attack.

“I was just screaming his name. I asked him what was happening and obviously he couldn’t tell me.

“I did some first aid. He used to do first aid at work at one time, and I always used to say to him, ‘I don’t know how you cope with it, I would just panic.’ He would say, ‘No, when something like that happens, it just comes to you.’

“I want to say how amazingly brilliant the paramedics and A&E and intensive care at Lancaster Hospital were.

“He was just really, really popular, loved by everybody. He didn’t know anybody who he didn’t get on with. He was just really genuine.

“His best friend, Ryan Twiname, he is absolutely heartbroken. They were thick as thieves, the best of friends. They were more like brothers.

“We are at his mum’s house and there are probably hundreds of sympathy cards, flowers galore.”

The former Garstang High School pupil played for Garstang Reserves against Poulton Town Reserves the day before the tragedy happened.

Garstang FC, where he had been a player since he was 15 years old, postponed first team, reserves, youth and veterans games this weekend as a mark of respect.

Adam, a keen Leeds United fan, worked as an HGV driver for Collinson in Garstang. He had followed his father Michael, who died eight years ago, into the profession.

Adam’s brother Paul, 48, said: “He cared for everyone, he would do anything for anybody at any time. Anyone who has ever had any contact with him would say the same.

“He and Louise were the perfect couple.

“He was 15 when he made his debut for Garstang, and was a goalkeeper at first. Then he played every single position, bar striker.

“He was a big Leeds United fan, but I would have to say Garstang came slightly ahead of Leeds. Even when we played the opposition – and we had a couple of local rivals – they would know him as Jags.”

Louise and Paul said Adam’s mum Winnie, 70, had been a “rock” for the family, making tea and sandwiches for the 30-40 people who had been visiting to pay their condolences every night since the tragedy.

A statement from Garstang FC said: “We are all devastated with the news. ‘Jags’ was one of the most popular players ever to pull on a Garstang Football Club shirt.

“Our thoughts are with his family and all those who were closest to him. As a club, we will be there to support them in any way that we can.”

John Brown, secretary of the West Lancashire Football League, in which the Garstang club play, said: “The league is shocked by what has happened.

“It is a tragedy, and we are very sorry. Our sympathies go to Garstang, and mainly to the family.”

Adam leaves another brother, Anthony Bailey, and sisters Ann Bailey and Jackie Swindlehurst.

Adam’s funeral will be held at St Thomas’ Church, Garstang, on Saturday, September 15, at 3pm, followed by a wake at Garstang Football Club clubhouse.

Family flowers only are requested, with donations to Garstang FC.