DEVOTED relatives and friends have paid touching tributes to two “much-loved” dads who died in a car crash — with pals of one planning a fundraising event to pay for his funeral and to make Christmas a little happier for his five-year-old son.
Ben Hughes (27) and Tim Brookes (40) died when the red Citroen C1 in which they were travelling crashed into a bridge parapet on Tickhill Road, in Maltby, at around 8.40pm on Friday.
Ben’s friend of 18 years, Nathan McEvoy, has organised a poker night to celebrate the card lover’s life.
Nathan (27), who worked with Ben as a railway engineer at MJH, will hold the event at The Squirrel pub in Dinnington.
“Ben used to love a game of poker,” Nathan said.
“He used to go the casino and we used to have a poker night every two weeks.
“What I thought was that Ben has got a five-year-old son called Charlie and it’s only two months away from Christmas.
“His mum has also just moved house and done up a bungalow from top to bottom so I want to make sure Charlie has something for Christmas.”
Ben (pictured below) was a front-seat passenger in the car when it crashed after its driver failed to negotiate a right-hand bend, police said.
Both Ben and driver Tim Brookes, from South Anston, died at the scene.
Tim leaves behind 12-year-old daughter Angel.
His brother Tim Crossland (49), speaking on behalf of his parents, said: “Tim was a cracking lad and he had a great smile.
“Obviously as a family we are all devastated. He was a superb dad and brother, a loving son and he had a superb character.
“He was very well known and much-loved — he was a loveable rogue.”
Ben had recently been working with Nathan on railway electrification works in Berkshire.
“I was one of his best mates,” said Nathan, of Dinnington.
“I’d known him for probably the best part of 18 years and worked away with him on the railways. We always shared a room.
“He was well-known, much-loved and a good character. He was a funny guy and nothing really fazed him.”
Sheffield United fan Ben was living with his mum at her Thurcroft home at the time of his death.
Fellow workmate James Gregory (29), of North Anston, said: “I can’t remember a time when I was with Ben and I wasn’t laughing.
“He was always one to light up the room.
“Ben and I used to bounce off each other and we were always laughing and joking — he will be sadly missed.”
The poker night at The Squirrel in Laughton Road will begin at 5pm on Saturday, October 28,
The buy-in is £50, with half of the prize pot going to Ben’s brother Adam to help cover funeral costs and to support his family.
Landlord Wayne Radford has also agreed to donate 20 per cent of the night’s takings to Ben’s family.
Nathan said: “It’s not just a poker night. There are two rooms at the pub and we’ll hold poker in the back, but if anyone doesn’t want to play they can come down and have a drink in Ben’s memory.”
Ben and Tim’s inquests were adjourned at Doncaster Coroner’s Court on Wednesday.
Ben’s funeral will take place at St James’ Church, South Anston, at 2.30pm on Friday, October 20, followed by a service at Rotherham Crematorium at 3.45pm and a wake at the Little Mester in North Anston.
Tim’s funeral will take place at Rotherham Crematorium, at 2.15pm on Friday, October 27, followed by a wake at The Saxon Hotel, Kiveton Park.