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Widow pays tribute to husband Tony Underwood killed in Penzance town centre collision

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: February 28, 2013

  • Clowning around – Becks says husband Tony, pictured here with children Ethan and Ocean, was the life and soul of the party.

  • The father-of-three loved the sea and waves. Picture Becks Underwood.

  • Becks and Tony - she said: "He's pulling a face in every picture I've got of him." Picture Becks Underwood.

  • Tony and Beck's children Ethan and Ocean Underwood. Pictures: Becks Underwood

  • "Daddy's little princess" Tony Underwood with daughter Ocean, six. Picture Becks Underwood.

  • Tony and Becks Underwood on Penzance Prom. Picture: Becks Underwood

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THE HEARTBROKEN widow of a motorcyclist who died after a crash in Penzance has spoken of the loss of her "soulmate".

Tony Underwood, from Pendeen, died after his Suzuki motorbike was in collision with an Audi outside the Cliff Hotel at Chyandour Cliff.

Rebecca Underwood – known to everyone as Becks – said husband Tony was her "everything".

The 34-year-old said: "I idolised him and he idolised me. Everyone said we were made for each other."

The couple have two children, son Ethan, 13, and daughter Ocean, who will be 7 in March.

Becks said: "Ethan has been very, very strong for his mum but I think he thinks he has to take the role of his dad now but I'm telling him he can't.

"I don't think Ocean really understands. Ocean was his little princess, a real daddy's girl."

She said hundreds of messages from friends on Facebook paying tribute to Tony, 40, whom she called "the life and soul of the party", had been a huge comfort.

The family, who own a farm in Leedstown where Becks' parents are currently living, had only recently returned from a year in Spain and had been renting temporarily in Portreath.

Yorkshire-born Becks said: "I can't imagine being without him. I've known Tony since I was 18. We met on holiday in Faliraki and we've been together ever since."

Essex-born Tony moved to Pendeen as a child and was a pupil at Cape Cornwall School in St Just. He had lived briefly in Exeter and Derby and more recently in Spain, but always came back to west Cornwall.

Becks said: "When you go away from Cornwall you miss it constantly. This was home.

"We've lived in Leedstown for seven years and Ocean was born in Leedstown. This is their home."

Tony became a mechanic when he left school and later bought and sold cars before the couple attempted to build a new life in Spain.

Becks said: "We went to Spain for just over a year. It was something he'd always dreamed of doing but within a month he wanted to come home."

The Cornwall coroner has been informed of Tony's death but an inquest has not yet been opened.

Becks said the family was "in limbo" until the authorities released Tony's body.

She said: "His family are in Paris and London and they feel really helpless. We're all in limbo and they've told me it could be a really long time before we can get him back. It's horrendous; it's wrong. You just want to grieve and get him his decency.

"He was my best friend, my soulmate, the love of my life. I've never loved another man or lived with another man. I've never lived on my own; I can't even cook; he did the cooking!

"He's my everything – my whole world."

Tony's son Ethan is a pupil at Richard Lander School in Truro while Ocean has recently left St Piran's School in Hayle.

Tony also had a daughter, Jess, from a previous relationship, who now has children of her own called Summer, Brooke and Alyssa.

Police are still appealing for witnesses to the incident which took place at around 3.40pm on Saturday, February 16.

The driver of the Audi, believed to be a local woman in her thirties, was unhurt.

In a tragic twist of fate, Becks and Tony were due to celebrate a romantic Valentine's Day for the first time in many years on the day he died.

Becks said: "We'd booked a hotel for Saturday night at Mannings in Truro.

"It's the first Valentine's we've been speaking for ten years, because every year he'd make a New Year's resolution to give up smoking, and then in January and February he'd be so grumpy we barely spoke: but he gave up last year so we were talking this year and we were going to stay in Mannings on Saturday night."

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