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Ashford: Tributes to pensioner Maurice Bye who died after collapsing in Tesco car park

A “funny and bubbly” great-grandfather-of-five died after collapsing into his granddaughter’s arms.

Maurice Bye, 74, suffered a cardiac arrest while shopping at Tesco Extra in Park Farm, Ashford, earlier this month.

Supermarket staff fought to keep the ex-labourer alive as paramedics rushed to the car park in Moatfield Meadow.

Clare and Carol Bye, 50 and 72, with a photo of Maurice
Clare and Carol Bye, 50 and 72, with a photo of Maurice

Granddaughter Niomi Bye, 23, said: “He was bubbly and always there if you needed someone.

“We were just walking to the car when he fell up against it.

“I thought it was his knee that had given way, he’d had a dodgy knee. Then he fell into my arms and I put him down on the floor.

Emergency services at the scene
Emergency services at the scene

“Members of the public came to help, I told them to leave him because I knew right then he wasn’t getting back up.

“I was phoning an ambulance when the staff came out.”

A number of ambulances and two police cars attended at 2.15pm on Friday, January 18 before Mr Bye was taken to the William Harvey Hospital, where he later died.

An incident response unit was called
An incident response unit was called

A father-of-three, Mr Bye was previously in good health, said wife of 51 years Carol Bye, 72.

“He was up and walking around the supermarket just fine – there was no sign," she said.

“He had a bit of a cough but that was it.

“He was a funny man, he really will be missed."

'He had never been to hospital for anything until then...' - Amy Bye

Paying tribute daughter Clare Bye, 50, of Beaver Lane, added: “He was always there for me if I ever needed advice.

“He was a loving dad growing up. When we were small he would love taking us out on the horse.”

Granddaughter Amy Bye, 22, added Mr Bye was the “rock” of the family.

The carer continued: “If he had pain he would never make a fuss or want attention. He had never been to hospital for anything until then. Grandad was someone you could always have a chat with.”

Son Stephen Bye, 53, added he was a “brilliant” father who will be "terribly missed".

Maurice Bye grew up in the Isle of Sheppey and met Carol in Sheerness, when he was cleaning Woolworth’s window where she worked.

They would later move to London then Blean, where they had settled for nine years.

Carol said: “It’s hard - it’s unbelievable he has gone.”

The family would like to thank the Tesco workers and paramedics who fought to save Mr Bye.

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