TRIBUTES have been paid to ‘gentle giant’ Brett Ian O’Loughlin, who passed away suddenly on December 30 at the age of 57.

The Clayton-le-Moors-born veteran was a loving dad to Lauren and Alex and a husband to wife Nicola.

He was also the cherished grandad of his granddaughter Ava.

Brett served in the RAF for 23 years, having joined the force at age 22, and worked his way up the ranks to become a sergeant.

His lifelong passion for aircraft and electronics later led to him working for the defence, security, and aerospace company BAE Systems after his military career.

Brett’s family described him as “a Clayton born and bred gentle giant, who will be truly missed and leaves behind mountains of memories and stories which will live on through many.”

Daughter Lauren O’Loughlin paid a touching tribute to her father, saying: “My dad, my rock, my first love and the craziest grandad a girl could ask for.

“Always in our thoughts, love you forever, Lauren and Ava.”

Brett’s son Alex O’Loughlin also paid tribute to him, saying: “The man who taught me many of life’s lessons.

“I am honoured to be able to call you my dad, love you always, Alex.”

Family friends Ian and Christine Pilkington expressed their condolences, saying: “So sad we can’t be at the funeral to say goodbye to our wonderful friend Brett.

“Always in our thoughts and prayers love you lots our Giant man, with a giant heart and personality night night sweetheart.”

Beverley Kemp said: “Such a gentleman in every way.”

As well as being a dedicated Burnley FC supporter with an impressive memorabilia collection from the club, Brett was also a big rugby fan.

He loved to watch Alex train and play in matches.

He will be laid to rest this week in a private family funeral service set to take place on January 15.

Donations can be made in memory of Brett on behalf of the Royal British Legion and Help For Heroes, via the website

Tributes can be left at