Cannonball stunt man 'was definition of kindness'

Matt Cranch
Image caption Matt Cranch loved to work on old cars in his garage

A 23-year-old man who died after a cannonball stunt accident was "the definition of kindness", according to one of his friends.

Matt Cranch, from Newquay, Cornwall, who had only been working as a cannonball stunt man for a few weeks, died after a safety net collapsed at a show on Monday.

An investigation into the incident at Kent County Showground is under way.

Jacob Axtell, 22, originally joined the Scott May daredevil team, based in St Just, with Mr Cranch but left because of family commitments.

Mr Axtell said he was devastated by his best friend's death.

He said: "He was the sort of friend who would do anything for you and he was like that with everyone.

"He knew a lot of people and no one had a bad word to say about him. He did not have a bad bone in his body."

Mr Axtell met his friend when they worked together at the Watergate Bay Hotel, near Newquay, where they shared staff accommodation.

He said Mr Cranch's main hobby was his cars and he often worked on vehicles in his small garage.

'Lovable character'

Mr Cranch worked as a barman at the Watergate Bay Hotel but left only "a few weeks ago" said Will Ashworth, the hotel's managing director.

He was "extremely popular" at the bar where he worked for three years and everyone was very shocked, Mr Ashworth added.

He said as a barman Mr Cranch was in a "high profile position" and was popular with colleagues in his team and guests there.

"He was always cheerful and very friendly and was a pleasure to be around," he said.

"... I don't think I could over-estimate how popular and what a nice guy he was."

Many tributes have been left to Matt Cranch on Facebook.

Some are from old school friends of the 23-year-old who was originally from the Isle of Man.

They paint the picture of a young man remembered for his kindness, fun personality, as well as his "multi-coloured VW camper van" and old Beetle cars.

He was also remembered for playing in a band while living in the Isle of Man and going to youth theatre.

Ruth Harrison writes on the social network site that he was a loveable character who "made me smile even on a bad day".

While Heather Watson describes him as having "one of the purest hearts I have ever come across".

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