Family tribute to ‘adored’ Hassocks granddad who died after fall

Hannah Brown with her granddad, Alan Foster
Hannah Brown with her granddad, Alan Foster
  • Alan Foster died after falling on Chancellors Park
  • His granddaughter said he was ‘full of laughter and joy’
  • A post-mortem report gave three causes of death: Bronchopneumonia, cervical spinal injuries and the fall

The family of a man who died after tripping on ‘uneven pavement’ have paid tribute to a ‘wonderful man’.

Alan Foster, 88, fell outside Hassocks Infant School in Chancellors Park on 22 November 2014, injuring his neck.

I know he filled many people’s lives with joy and happiness, but for me, he filled my heart with love and admiration

He was taken by ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, with injuries to the ligaments and spinal cord.

In hospital he developed bronchopneumonia and on 1 December 2014 he passed away .

At an inquest held at County Hall North, Horsham, on 30 January 2015, the post mortem report gave three causes of death, bronchopneumonia, cervical spinal injuries and the fall.

The coroner ruled that his death was due to the fall, recording a verdict of accidental death.

The family have now written to West Sussex County Council outlining their concerns about the pavement in Chancellors Park.

A spokesperson for West Sussex County Council confirmed it was investigating but could give no further comment at this time.

Hannah said Alan was a popular local figure.

Originally from Oldham, he moved to Hassocks with his wife Sybil.

They had two children, Helen and Graham, who ‘loved him dearly’.

Hannah said.“My granddad was full of laughter and joy and would help anyone in need.

“I know he filled many people’s lives with joy and happiness, but for me, he filled my heart with love and admiration.

“My granddad was an extremely clever man and taught me how to read, write and many helpful life lessons – like to always wear socks on my feet and to always be reliable to others.

“He is the reason I am the person I am today and I hope I do him proud.

“I looked up to him and adored him, and he adored us.

“He was a constant figure in our family life and was often waiting for us after school with a Forfars doughnut or a sausage roll, just waiting to see his grandchildren and spend time with them.

He was an ‘amazing person that I was lucky enough to call my granddad.”

Alan played for his local teams and taught many people how to play snooker.

Hannah continued: “As I grew older, I learnt that my granddad and I had a very special bond – we became partners in crime, terrorising the family and hatching plans together.

“On a daily basis he would arrive at my family home and demand ‘At the Races’ to be placed on TV, and a cup of tea to be made.

“We would then spend hours just sitting and laughing together, while also helping me with my homework.

“With his wealth of knowledge and charisma also came a never-ending bout of terrible jokes, of which he loved to tell!

“Unfortunately, losing someone so special creates a hole in your life.

“When you lose your absolute world how do you cope?

“I just think of the incredible strength my granddad had, strength that he had now passed on to us to be able to deal with the much quieter life we now have without him.

“My granddad was an incredible person, father, friend and husband and I now hope we all do him proud and fulfil the ambitions he wanted for us so badly.

“I’ll love him forever,” she added.