A FAMILY is reeling following the shock death of a young man on Saturday night.
Described by his family as having ‘a heart of gold’ Alex Lawes, 22, from Granborough, suffered fatal head injuries after falling 40ft from a balcony at a Manchester nightclub.
Staunch Manchester United supporter Alex and his long-term girlfriend Jess Brick were visiting the club to celebrate Jess’ 21st birthday.
And heartbroken Jess revealed how friends had told her Alex had planned to ask her to marry him. The pair were also due to jet off to Jamaica on holiday.
“Minutes before it happened, he told someone he was going to propose,” said Jess.
This week the family paid tribute to the groundworks engineer they described as ‘the life and soul of the party’.
And his mum, Jill Hall, of Granborough, spoke of her pride on finding out that her son had registered as an organ donor.
Now Alex’s heart valves will go to help babies born with heart defects, and a lung, his liver, pancreas and kidneys will be used to help others.
Jill said: “The whole family is immensely proud of him. My parting words to him were: ‘Alex, I always said you cared about other people and had a caring nature and now you’re giving people the ultimate gift.’”
Dad Peter Lawes, 56, who lives in Winslow, said: “We drew a lot of strength from the fact he was a donor and wanted to do that.”
Jill also paid tribute to the staff of Salford Royal Hospital, in Manchester.
She said: “From the moment we got up there they showed us so much dignity and respect.
“They made a difficult, almost impossible situation just a teeny bit bearable.”
For Alex’s funeral, the family are asking for donations in his memory, which they intend to divide between the hospital’s intensive care unit, and an organ donation or children’s charity.
Jess said: “He got on really well with children and children loved him because he was a child at heart. He was a beautiful person, inside and out.”
Jill said: “I don’t think he had a malicious bone in his body. He had a heart of gold. He was incredibly good to his mum.”
Jess recalled how she and Alex met when she was 14 and they both attended The Buckingham School.
“He used to tease me on the school bus,” said Jess, “but in a nice way.”
The pair, who lived in Buckingham, had been together since Alex asked her out on her 17th birthday.
Alex, who also attended Winslow Combined School was the life and soul of the party, said Jess, recalling a trip to Pink Punters in Bletchley last year.
“He ended up having a dance-off with a gay European dance champion,” said Jess. “And Alex won.”
And events co-ordinator Jess was keen to stress that Alex, who worked for Buckingham groundworks contractor Peter O’Dell, was not drunk when he fell to his death at 10.30pm.
She said: “We’d only been out for an hour at the most.”
Sister Kathryn, aged 13, said: “He always made me laugh. I loved his cuddles.”
Alex also leaves his older sister Ashley, 25, five-year-old niece Keara, grandparents Bob and Brenda Hall and uncle David Hall.
> A funeral service will be held at 11am on Thursday, April 14, at St Laurence Church, Winslow, followed by a private family burial. Family flowers only. Donations may be made courtesy of Heritage & Sons, Winslow. on 01296 713341.
> A Facebook page, called ‘Alex Lawes RIP’, has also been set up.