A Southwick woman is raising money for her boyfriend’s funeral after he collapsed and died suddenly in a Sussex street.
Dad-of-one Tony Shearer, 31, died in Kenilworth Road, St Leonards, just before 4pm on Thursday, July 18.
A post-mortem has yet to return a cause of death but his girlfriend Melissa Skinner, from Southwick, believes he died from a heart attack.
Paying tribute to the father of her 20-month-old daughter Dolly, Melissa said: “He was just such a big character.
“He was a boxer and a big fan of Tyson Fury. He just loved his sports.
“He was always cracking jokes and he was able to just light up any room. He always knew how to put a smile on my face.
“He was a brilliant dad. Dolly was the apple of his eye. He just melted whenever he saw her.”
Originally from London, Tony moved to Brighton in 2016 and lived with Melissa in Brighton before moving to St Leonards a few days before his death.
He worked as a dry liner and was described by Melissa as a ‘hard grafter’ who was fit and active.
Melissa, who had been with Tony for three and half years, added: “He was such a good person.
“He was deeply religious and always prayed and believed in God. He had plans to have Dolly christened.
“Despite living in Hastings he still kept in regular contact with me and his mum.”
Melissa said Tony’s death has ‘left a hole in so many lives’, including his five siblings – two brothers and three sisters – who live in Kent and London.
She added: “On the day he died, he had asked me to see him, but as it would take me an hour to drive there and an hour to drive back, plus work, I told him I was too busy.
“Now I wish I had made the journey but I know there is nothing that could have been done.
“When I was told the news, I just collapsed. I had to call my mum because I had woken Dolly up with my screaming. I just couldn’t process what I had been told.”
Melissa has thanked all the members of public who tried to help Tony in his last moments.
She has also set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his funeral.
She said any remaining money will be put in a trust fund for Dolly to have when she is older.
If you would like to donate, click here.