Tributes paid to ‘true gentleman’ killed in Newry collision

June 10, 2014

By Christine Keighery

Tributes have been paid to a disabled pensioner who was killed just yards from his home after his mobility scooter was hit by a car in a three vehicle collision in the Windsor Hill/Rathfriland Road area last Tuesday afternoon. It is understood the accident happened after a car mounted the pavement.

Double amputee Wilfred Vaughan Chambers, 68, has been described as “one of Newry’s true gentlemen.” He was a well known character in the Newry area who was often seen making his way along the city streets in his electric mobility scooter, which he received as a result of a successful fundraising campaign spearheaded by a former goalkeeper who had played on the Christian Endeavour team which Mr Chambers had coached in his younger years. Indeed, his work with youth teams of mixed denominations over the years has received much praise since his passing as has his generosity and charitable nature.

Deputy mayor of Newry David Taylor, who knew Mr Chambers from playing on his football squads over the years, paid a special tribute to the man he said “was very good to us as a football coach and was well thought of by anyone who would have come into contact with him.”

SDLP councillor John McArdle described him as a “wonderful man”.

“He was a great community man.

“In particular, he did a lot for the youth,” said Mr McArdle.

“My condolences go out to his family because he was a very decent, civil man who was well-liked by all.”

Independent Newry councillor Jack Patterson echoed those sentiments saying,

“I knew Vaughan well, we were the same age and went to school together.

“He lost his mum when he was quite young and then he looked after his dad. That’s the type of person he was. He always had time for everyone.

“He was a very giving, very amicable man. He did a lot of volunteering.

“When he was still able to, when he was younger, he would have gone and done bits and pieces around older people’s homes, he would have helped them out with decorating, things like that.”

Mr Patterson continued: “He was very well-known in Newry, you would have seen him going up the street most days in his scooter. Even when he lost his legs, that didn’t stop him.

“He used to get about in a wheelchair until there was a fundraiser to get him the mobility scooter a few years ago.

“It’s so sad that after everything he went through he died like this.”

The investigation into the collision is ongoing and police have appealed for anyone who was in the area or witnessed the crash last Tuesday afternoon (3rd June) at 3pm to contact them on the new non-emergency number 101.