'˜kind-hearted' dad died '˜doing something he loved'

Dominic TurnerDominic Turner
Dominic Turner
Tributes have been paid to a dad-of-two who died during a 120-mile cycle race.

Dominic Turner, 39, from St Annes, was taking part in the Dunwhich Dynamo ride from London to Suffolk at the weekend when he suffered a suspected heart attack.

Fellow cyclists performed CPR on the ex-Blackpool and the Fylde College and UCLAN student but were unable to save him.

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The former photography student was taken ill near Braintree in Essex during the ride from London to Suffolk on Saturday.

Mr Turner suffered from life-limiting disease myotonic dystrophy. Weakened heart muscles are a symptom of the condition.

The disease is hereditary. Mr Turner was diagnosed as a young man but his eldest son, who is 18, has had the condition since birth. His 16-year-old boy does not have myotonic dystrophy.

He moved to London in 2009 and lived in Walthamstow, working as a cycle courier and in a warehouse.

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Before his death he was training to change career and become a bicycle mechanic.

Caroline Brooks, 38, who had known Mr Turner since they were 16-year-old students in Blackpool, said: “He was my best friend and I miss him.

“We lived six miles away from one another and he would always cycle over to see me. He had a terminal illness but he always had a smile on his face.

“He would have been 40 soon and he was dreading it. The doctors had told him he was unlikely to live to 50.

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“In the past year or so, his condition had started to have an effect on his speech and he hated that.

“He still has plenty of friends in Blackpool and they are all devastated.

“He came to St Annes when he was 12. His dad was in the RAF and came to work at BAE.

“Before settling on the Fylde coast he had lived all over the place. He was a talented artist and a brilliant friend.”

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His sister Victoria Kerr said: “On behalf of myself and Dominic’s parents, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all those who tried to help him.

“We are taking a lot of comfort from the fact he passed away doing something he loved.”

Mr Turner went to school in Lytham before studying art at Blackpool and the Fylde College and photography at UCLAN.

Some of his work was exhibited at the Blott Studio on King Street, Blackpool.

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Former Lytham High School friend Tassha Poole said: “Dominic was such a wonderful bloke, full of character and with a heart of gold. My heart goes out to his boys and family at this sad time. Heaven will be rocking with you there.”

In the 90s, Dominic performed in the Gazette-sponsored Battle of the Bands in his band Squid.

Blott Studio director Corrine Streetly, 56, said: “He was quirky and funny but very easy-going, a kind and gentle soul.”

A tribute night to Mr Turner will be held at The Tache Rock Club on Corporation Street, Blackpool, on Friday, August 17.

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A spokesman at the club where Mr Turner had been a regular, said: “It will be lovely to remember him with the old Tache family attending and the music to remind us what great times they were.”

Ms Brooks said there would be a post mortem examination into Mr Turner’s death before funeral arrangements can be made.