A Bulwell man died on holiday trying to save the lives of swimmers in distress.
Tony Miller was on a beach in Lanzarote with his partner Sue Marriott, who is the landlady of the town’s Royal Oak pub, when tragedy struck.
The have-a-go-hero saw the pair struggling in the sea and rushed to their aid but despite them surviving, Tony drowned, leaving Sue heartbroken.
“Tony was the type of bloke who would not hesitate to go to to the aid of someone needing his help,” said Sue, whose 13 year-old son Bailey was also on holiday with the couple.
“We were just lay on the beach near our hotel when Tony rushed into the sea,” remembers Sue. “The next thing I knew, Bailey ran up to me and told me Tony was in trouble.
“Someone brought Tony out of the sea and I tried to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.”
Sue told the Dispatch it was a risky spot to bathe, due to submerged rocks and ocean currents, and she thought warning signs should have been displayed.
Amid the heartbreak of what happened on that fateful day, Sue is full of praise for the management and staff at their hotel, the Playa Birdie Diver. “They could not do enough for us and did not charge us anything,” she said.
Tony’s body was brought back to England and St Mary’s Church, Bulwell, was filled to capacity for the funeral service held last Friday.
“I would like to thank all my regulars at the Royal Oak and the local community for their support at this very difficult time,” added Sue.
Tony, 41, who had the nickname Squirrel, was a member of a Bulwell family. He attended Bonington Junior and Ald Derbyshire Schools.
After leaving school at 16, he sold items which included dusters and ironing boards from door to door and he was latterly a van driver delivering catalogues.
A Manchester United supporter, he enjoyed snooker and pool and he was passionate about darts, both playing and watching. He leaves a son, Connor, from a previous relationship.
Tony first met Sue when she was working at the Blenehim pub, Bulwell, and he fully supported her when she took charge of the Royal Oak.
The Rev Andy Nicolls, who conducted the funeral service, said: “Many questions are waiting to be answered as to why Tony lost his life in this way. The lack of information hinders coming to terms with the tragedy.
“His loved ones are left to cope with the shock, leaving a chasm of emotional pain.”
“Tony should be remembered as someone fun-loving, carefree and living for the day.”