A MAN has suffered a second tragedy after his girlfriend died just weeks after being diagnosed with throat cancer.
Peter Heaton, from Darwen, began a relationship with Marie Clare Matthewman after his previous girlfriend of more than six years, Sue Ashworth, died in January 2013.
At the time of her death, from a brain haemorrhage, Miss Ashworth’s regular checkout at Asda, in Blackburn, was closed and turned into a shrine, with masses of floral tributes.
After a short illness, Miss Matthewman, whose daughter Hayley, 16, is in the middle of her GCSE’s, died last Sunday.
Miss Matthewman, 54, from the Oakdale Estate, in Lower Darwen, was diagnosed with throat cancer just weeks ago. She also leaves behind brothers Keith and Bernard, and a sister, Angela.
Mr Heaton, of Cemetery Road, said: “We always used to have a barbecue on Sue’s birthday and Marie used to come because they worked together at Asda.
“When Sue died, we decided to carry it on, so we had a barbecue on her birthday last year.
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“Marie said she would come and give me a lift taking the dogs out, and that is how it all started.
“We had been seeing each other for about a year. She was a bit like me. We had things in common and we got on really well.”
Miss Matthewman started feeling unwell in February, but it took a while for doctors to realise what was wrong. Mr Heaton said: “It was really quick, and it was such a shock. I couldn’t believe it had happened to me again. We were planning on getting our own house together, and everything.”
Sister Angela Brown, of Hoghton, said: “She was bubbly, friendly and full of life. She loved travelling, but she really lived for Hayley. She was such a good mum.”
Miss Matthewman, daughter of Joan and Bill, was born in Black-burn and grew up in Mill Hill.
She went to St Peter’s and St Monica’s schools, and later bec-ame a nursery nurse, and then spent years driving coaches throughout Europe.
Her funeral takes place at St Peter’s Church, in Mill Hill, today, from 10am, followed by interment at Pleasington.