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Tributes to devoted Kelsall father and greenkeeper killed in tragic accident

Tributes have been paid to a young golf club greenkeeper and father killed in a tree felling tragedy.

Martin Davenport, 35, of Pasture Close, Kelsall, died instantly under a falling tree at an address in Brown Heath Road, Christleton, on Sunday, January 7.

A former Tattenhall resident, Martin worked as a greenkeeper at Eaton Golf Club in Waverton. He is survived by his eight-year-old daughter Isabelle, ‘Izz Bizz’, to whom he was devoted. He had remained friends with her mum Laura.

His long-term girlfriend Megan Grindley is devastated, as are his parents Kathy and Shane and sister Sian.

Megan, who has created a slideshow of memorable images of their time together, wrote on Facebook: “Until we meet again, baby. Thank you for walking into my life and sharing all of these unforgettable memories with me. I will cherish every moment I spent with you for the rest of my life. Sleep tight, Martin.”

Craig Longton commented: “I lived in Tattenhall for over 10 years and worked with Marty on the fencing with Mave. I just want to say how sorry I am for your loss. He was such a nice, genuine lad and looking at your video, you made him very happy, so sorry again.”

Martin had worked as a greenkeeper at golf clubs in the area including Carden Park and Vale Royal Abbey but kept returning for stints at Eaton Golf Club in Waverton where he was affectionately known as their ‘prodigal son’.

In a message to members, secretary/manager Kerry Brown wrote: “He started with us in 2001 aged 18, having begun his greenkeeping career at Vale Royal Abbey GC. He has left Eaton more than once since then to try other careers, always involving work outdoors, but he kept coming back - to a genuine welcome.

“He has worked in agricultural groundwork and fencing, he ran his own gardening business for a time, and of course as a greenkeeper.

“Each role taught Martin new skills which he, as a hard-working and committed staff member, was able to use to great effect, whether that be operating a large digger; working up to his welly tops in liquid concrete, or carrying out all aspects of a greenkeeper’s role.

“Martin was a considerable and popular asset to the course team. He was also well-known to club members for his abilities as a freelance gardener. He frequently sported a knowing grin which always left one wondering what it was that he knew that we didn’t. Whatever it was, he had a rare talent to ensure that everyone was happy with the outcome.”

Kerry said it was ‘very hard to take in’ that Martin’s untimely death was caused by a falling tree while working as a private contractor. She told The Chronicle he ‘will be missed by us all’ and said the ‘thoughts and condolences’ of the club went out to his grieving family.

His funeral will take place on Friday, January 26, at Brown Knowl Church at 10.30am (Chester Crematorium at 12 pm for family only). A gathering will then take place at Eaton Golf Club. Family flowers only. Donations are welcome for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.

Following the tragic loss of Martin, the club Captain and Lady Captain has invited members to join them in a collection for the benefit of Martin’s daughter ‘Izz Bizz’. The collection box will be located in the bar and close on Friday, February 2.

A Cheshire police spokeswoman said: “The death is not being treated as suspicious and a case file will be prepared for the coroner. The Health and Safety Executive have been informed of the incident.”

An inquest into the death was opened on Thursday, January 11.
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