Friday, 24 May 2019

Partner’s tribute to man killed in crash

Partner’s tribute to man killed in crash

A WOMAN has paid tribute to her “beautiful and genuine” partner who was killed in a road crash.

Billy Seymour, 47, a former professional footballer, died two days after suffering serious head injuries in the smash in Sonning Common on January 3.

His partner Lynda Williams spoke after the man who was driving Mr Seymour’s van despite having drunk about 10 pints of cider was jailed for causing death by dangerous driving.

Miss Williams, 50, said: “He was very loving, always smiling — Billy had the best smile in the world. He was so nice to everybody, he was such a genuine gentleman. He made the most of life and loved life. He didn’t take anything for granted. He didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody.

“He was very supportive of me as well — he never gave up — he always pushed me to do things. He was just there constantly on the phone.”

Miss Williams, who lives in Portsmouth, said Mr Seymour called her twice on the day he died and also messaged her.

She said: “He rang me and said, ‘hello girlfriend, how are you feeling?’ He was supposed to be here the next day and I was at the window waiting for him.”

Miss Williams was told the bad news by Mr Seymour’s mother Jean.

The couple first met in 2010 when Mrs Williams managed the former Three Brewers pub in Wokingham.

They were then together for about a year before the relationship ended.

Miss Williams said: “We clicked big time. I got really protective with Billy and I used to say, ‘Billy, go upstairs and get your head down’. I wouldn’t let him leave the pub jolly.

“At the time he had a place in Reading and it was my little hideaway to be with him away from people in the bar.”

The couple only resumed their relationship last year when she returned to Britain from Spain, where she had been following her father’s death.

She and Mr Seymour reconnected via Facebook.

Miss Williams explained: “My father passed away and I think he came up on a memory on Facebook. I said, ‘how are you doing Billy? It’s been so long’.

“We spoke at length on Messenger and exchanged numbers again. He still had the same number actually.

“We started talking and I came back to the UK in July and that was it. We always had a connection. It was just like we had never been away from each other. It was natural and just fantastic.”

Miss Williams said the couple had talked about a future together and Mr Seymour, who was living in a rented room in Sonning Common and was working as a plasterer, was renovating a property he owned in Poole. The couple spent the next few months enjoying trips to the seaside town as well as Hayling Island and the New Forest.

Miss Williams said: “We spent New Year’s Eve together in Portsmouth. We just relaxed, had a few drinks and took the piss out of each other as you do.

“He never, ever let you down. You couldn’t help but love Billy — he was such a genuine fella, so loving, so understanding, so beautiful, so nice.

“I just want to thank him for being himself and being there. It’s just our future that’s lost.”

Earlier this month, Alexander Clarke was jailed for seven-and-a-half years at Reading Crown Court.

The court heard that Mr Seymour met Clarke, whom he didn’t know, at the Black Horse pub in Kidmore End Road, Emmer Green, and they drank heavily before being asked to leave because they were so drunk.

Clarke was at the wheel of Mr Seymour’s Ford Transit van as he sat in the passenger’s seat when it crashed in Wood Lane at about 10.30pm.

Clarke, who had been banned from driving, was apprehended by residents who were alerted by the noise of the van crashing into a garden wall and colliding with two parked cars.

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