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Memorial bench installed for Covid victim in Hearts Delight Road, Tunstall, where he used take his daughter each year on her birthday

A new memorial bench has been installed in memory of a popular dad who died from coronavirus.

Stuart Charlesworth, from Bapchild, will be forever remembered at the spot where he took his daughter Rebekah, 11, every year on her birthday.

Stuart Charlesworth and his daughter Rebekah on her birthday last January (2020)
Stuart Charlesworth and his daughter Rebekah on her birthday last January (2020)

The 45-year-old lost his fight at Medway hospital in April last year after testing positive for Covid-19.

Stuart - known by many as Charlie - had been taken to hospital after having a week-long temperature and spent three weeks in its intensive care unit.

Ten months on, his wife Emma said a memorial bench had been installed in Hearts Delight Road, Tunstall.

When asked the reason behind the bench, the 39-year-old said: "Charlie put in his will that he wanted to be scattered on Dartmoor National Park in Devon as it was a special place for him and his family.

"We knew there wasn't going to be a gravestone as such, so we wanted to have a place that people felt they could go and have a chat with him - somewhere that was special to him so people could still have a connection to him."

The Stuart Charlesworth memorial bench in Hearts Delight Road, Tunstall
The Stuart Charlesworth memorial bench in Hearts Delight Road, Tunstall

Emma said she had set up a private Facebook group, called 'Stuart “Charlie” Charlesworth Memorial Bench' for people to share photos and memories of their visits.

"Seeing all the posts is really emotional," she said. "It just means a lot that so many people are visiting and remember Charlie. It means his legacy is carrying on. I'm very grateful to all those who made this possible.”

She added: "It's on Hearts Delight Road as every year on Rebekah’s birthday Charlie took her there because she was his heart’s delight.

"We have a photo of her every year by the road sign since her first birthday.

"It's a really nice keepsake of her growing up, so to have a memorial bench there felt like a way of him still being part of her birthday."

The Stuart Charlesworth memorial bench in Hearts Delight Road
The Stuart Charlesworth memorial bench in Hearts Delight Road

The inscription on the bench's plaque reads: "In loving memory of Stuart 'Charlie' Charlesworth (1974-2020) Forever our hearts' delight.

"When I look to the sky, something tells me you're here with me, and you make everything alright."

Those words are the opening lyrics from the song 'When I look to the sky', by Train, which was played at Stuart's funeral.

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