Poignant party to remember tragic Stalham teen Ashton Brooks

A Norfolk family is preparing for a poignant night - celebrating what would have been the 21st birthday of a popular young hotel worker and sportsman.

Ashton Brooks died in an accident when he was riding his cherished motorcycle in Stalham on November 17 2010.

On Friday evening, on what would have been his big day, his family, friends and other wellwishers will gather at Sutton Staithe Hotel for a party to celebrate his life and raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and Cancer Research UK.

Ahead of the party, Ashton's parents Nick and Tracey Brooks, from St Mary's Road, Stalham, spoke about their much-loved son.

They told how he was a 'happy-go-lucky chap' who had worked from the age of 13, loved football and pool and was particularly fond of his motorcycle, which he called his 'baby'.

Mr Brooks said: 'It's a bit of a cliche to say it, but Ashton would do anything for anybody. One time, a lady had opened a cafe in Stalham, and he was having a coffee.

'She said she wanted a room painted, and he said 'throw in a free breakfast and I'll do it', which he did.'

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Mrs Brooks said Ashton, who had two brothers, Andrew, now 28, and 16-year-old Nathan, started work at 13, delivering the Town and Country News and the Yarmouth Advertiser.

She added: 'He then worked at Meale's Nursery. From there he went to Roys, and he was working at Wayford Bridge Hotel when he died.'

Mrs Brooks said: 'He should've been on holiday on the day of his death, but they had a big wedding and he offered to go in. He was between shifts when he was killed.'

Ashton was born and bred locally, going to Happisburgh First, Stalham First, Stalham Middle and Stalham High before going to Paston College at North Walsham.

He played football for Stalham Rangers and was a keen Liverpool supporter. He was also captain of the pool team at the Hill House pub at Happisburgh, where a pool table pocket has been named in his memory.

Mr Brooks said: 'He was very popular. More than 500 people turned up at his funeral, and the vicar said he had never seen a church so full. He was genuinely much-loved.'

? The party is at Sutton Staithe Hotel from 7.30pm until late. Tickets costing �7.50 can be bought from The Happening in Stalham, Town and Country News or the hotel. They will also be available on the door on the evening.

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