Widow pays tribute to ‘soulmate’

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THE widow of a man who died after collapsing during a fitness session has paid an emotional tribute to her “soulmate”.

Super-fit Stuart Melling fell to the ground at a bootcamp class on a field just yards from his home last Friday.

The community of Aspull, where the 51-year-old lived and trained, is this week coming to terms with the shock and devastation at losing someone who was a friend to all.

Today, his wife of 26 years, Louise, has spoken not only of her heartbreak at losing her best friend, but the comfort she has taken from the fact he died while doing something he loved.

She also thanked members of the group who kept him alive until an ambulance arrived.

As well as his beloved wife, Stuart leaves behind his adoring children Ruby, 19, and Jack 12.

“He was extremely fit,” said Louise. “He loved training all his life. He had done five London Marathons and had been going to this bootcamp for over a year.

“The Active Outdoor Fitness bootcamp is run by a guy called Paul White, a PE instructor in the prison service, who is fantastic both as a person and a fitness instructor. Stuart loved it and encouraged me to go and it became an integral part of our lives, every Monday and Friday.

“In fact, we had just all booked to go to Fuerteventura next year for a bootcamp holiday.”

It was while attending one of the sessions, on the field next to Aspull Civic Hall, that Stuart collapsed.

Members of the bootcamp group, who had become a second family to the couple, were quick to come to his aid.

However, just an hour later, he passed away at Wigan Infirmary.