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Families pay tribute to four men killed on Great Yarmouth building site

12:43 10 February 2014

The four men who died in the Claxton tragedy, clockwise from top left, Peter Johnson, Tom Hazelton, Adam Taylor and Dan Hazelton.

The four men who died in the Claxton tragedy, clockwise from top left, Peter Johnson, Tom Hazelton, Adam Taylor and Dan Hazelton.

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The families of brothers Daniel, 30, and Tom Hazelton, 26, and their workmates Peter ‘PJ’ Johnson, 42, and Adam Taylor, 28, have paid tribute to the four men who died in January 2011 after the steel structure they were working in collapsed at a site in Great Yarmouth.

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The devastated partner of Daniel Hazelton said he was her “soulmate” and “love of her life”.

The 30-year-old was a very talented footballer and had a young son, Freddie, with his partner, Sam Ellis.

At the time of his death, she said: “How is it possible to put into words the effect that Daniel had on everyone he met?

“The messages and tributes received already from so many kind people is a good start but only touches on the wonderful person he was.

“The word ‘soulmate’ sounds a touch cliche but so true, he was the love of my life and living without him is something that I will really struggle to do.

“But then there is Freddie our wonderful son who gives me so much strength and happiness at this time, still telling my that his daddy is a super hero and his best friend.”

Brother Matthew, speaking on behalf of Daniel’s family, said: “Daniel is going to be greatly missed by all of us.

“He was an excellent footballer, having played for both Colchester United youths and Norwich City youths as a junior.

“When released he came to play for Stanton where he played for the next 10 years before going to play for Walsham-le-Willows for the next three seasons.”

Thomas Hazelton was described as a “wonderful” son, brother, father and uncle”.

Tom, a former student of Thurston Community College, was father to Alfie and partner to Charlotte Oliver.

On behalf of the whole family, his brother Matthew said: “Thomas is going to be greatly missed by us all. He was a keen carp fisherman and had caught carp up to a personal best of 31lb.

“He loved his music and his Playstation. He was a great dad to baby Alfie and partner to Charlotte, whom he loved very much.”

Paying tribute to both Daniel and Thomas, nephew Jaiden added: “I really loved my uncles.

“I liked playing and watching my uncle Dan play football and playing the Playstation with my uncle Tom. I’m going to really miss them.”

Beth Oliver posted on Facebook following Tom’s death: “You were such a wonderful dad, a proud partner and father and we are all going to miss you so much. Take care sweetheart, rest in peace.”

The daughter of Peter Johnson (PJ) said her father had a personality “as big as the world”.

Bethany Cotton said: “He was a man once met you would never ever forget!”

She added he was her hero and her best friend.

PJ’s mother Barbara May said she wanted everyone “to keep talking about her loud and lovely son, and keep remembering him”.

She said: “He was special. Every Wednesday he came to dinner.”

She described PJ, who worked as a DJ in his spare time and was learning the saxophone, as loud, someone who liked to wind people up – especially his nieces and nephews – and “sometimes quite irritating”.

She said: “I don’t want him to become a saint because he wasn’t. He was my son at the end of the day and I miss him terribly.”

PJ attended Thurston Community College and loved his Vespa scooter, named the Bethany Rose after his daughter.

The brother of Adam Taylor paid warm tribute to a talented footballer who had a passion for the beautiful game.

Jason said: “Ad was well known, much loved and best big mate to everybody he met. He led Rickinghall White Horse Football Club for six years and was the worst manager ever. His passion for the beautiful game was second to none.

“You would never meet a man like him, words cannot describe his personality, it was truly special.”

Adam was an attacking midfielder and scored one of Rickinghall’s two goals in their 2008-09 Suffolk FA Sunday Trophy Final win.

Chairman Robert Lister said: “Adam was the main man. Everything seemed to happen around him. He was one of those type of lads. He was really up for anything, a loveable rogue. He was a very talented footballer.”

He said he would be “very sadly missed”.

Adam also played football for Walsham-le-Willows.

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