Obituary: Michael Brewster

Image source, (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Image caption,
Michael Brewster was a 'loving husband, father and friend'

A village in Derbyshire came out to grieve together when one of its most cherished residents, Michael Stanley Brewster, known by many as Stan, was killed on 7 July 2005.

The funeral for the 53-year-old father of two was the largest many people in Swanwick had ever known and businesses in the village closed for an hour out of respect.

More than 1,000 mourners gathered at St Andrew's Church to pay their respects to the civil engineer, who worked for Derbyshire County Council.

Mr Brewster left behind a wife Sandra, daughter Katy and son Mark.

He went missing on his way to a conference in West Kensington on the morning of 7 July.

His family spent a week putting up posters around London in a vain effort to find him, before police confirmed he had died on the Edgware Road Tube train.

At the inquests, teacher Timothy Coulson described Mr Brewster's final moments after the explosion at Edgware Road Tube station.

Mr Coulson said had tried to help him but soon realised he was dying, so he closed his eyes and said a prayer for him.

Mr Brewster was a senior project manager at Derbyshire County Council and the chief executive, Nick Hodgson, said after his death: "We are all devastated to have lost such a well-loved colleague and friend.

"Stan will be very much missed by everyone who knew him. He was lively, friendly and fun to have around and would happily talk to anyone."

'Unbelievable man'

Mr Brewster was born on 22 March 1953 and grew up in Derbyshire. He gained a degree in civil engineering at Nottingham University and went to work with the county council.

His work around the county included the award-winning Millennium Walkway in New Mills and bridges near to Derby County's Pride Park football stadium.

Plaques to his memory have been unveiled at both sites.

He was also a keen footballer who played for two local teams and helped to set up a youngsters' side.

Mr Brewster also played golf and loved to watch his son Mark play cricket.

After he died, local football clubs established a Stan Brewster Memorial Football Tournament, which is played annually, and the pub near where he worked organises a golf tournament in his memory.

He cycled 12 miles to work each day and had been instrumental in getting cycle paths installed on the route.

He and his wife had been planning to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary just three weeks after the bombings and had booked a cruise.

Speaking at the inquests, his daughter, Katy, said he had encouraged her to go to university, but had not lived to see her graduate.

She also said they had watched the 11 September attacks unfold together, in tears.

"He tried to be positive and said we should be grateful for what we have and to hope nothing like that ever happens to us. That irony is not lost on us," she said.

Paying tribute to her father, she said: "His main achievements were as a husband, father, son, brother and friend.

"Dad was an unbelievable man in every way. He was such a big character. He was always positive and full of fun.

"He was a big kid and has been described by those who knew him as bubbly, outgoing, popular and gregarious.

"There was never a dull moment with him. His sense of humour was second to none. The banter was there all the time. Everybody loved him and respected him."