A WOMAN has paid tribute to her "strong and courageous" husband, who "was loved by all", after he lost his fight with a rare cancer and is now asking people to turn out and clap near the funeral tomorrow, which has limited capacity due to coronavirus.

Darlington-woman Jacqueline Newton, 34, lost her husband Liam to bile duct cancer on May 16, a rare cancer that is normally seen later in life – not in 28-year-olds.

The Northern Echo:

In February, Mr Newton was told he had one year to live.

At a hospital appointment in April, this had rapidly declined to just two weeks.

The dad-of-one, described as "the nicest person ever", lived for three.

Mrs Newton, who was called by the hospital and told about the new time frame then was asked to pick her husband up from the appointment and to tell him, said: "I'm heartbroken.

"There's a gaping hole in our lives now going forward. My whole future is gone.

"Liam was just loved by so many people. A piece of jigsaw will be missing from everyone's lives now."

While the mum says their four-year-old son Tommy does not understand death, though can see he has been impacted, she tells him "daddy lives in your heart".

The Northern Echo:

Describing the man, who loved his family, being outdoors and riding both his pedal and motorbikes with friends, she added: "Liam never moaned, he was strong and courageous.

"People will remember him for being caring, loving and really outgoing. He was adored by his mum, dad and sister, and friends were basically his family."

The plumber, who had his own company called Newton Plumbing and Heating, was well known in the town and highly recommended by customers.

"He just loved life and everyone in his life so much, including his customers. He had so much pride in his work," the woman, who was with Liam for six-and-a-half-years, said.

"Thank you to his family for always loving him, to his friends for listening to him and being like his family and thank you to his customers for always choosing Liam and recommending him."

Due to the cancer, Mr and Mrs Newton moved their wedding forward, after getting engaged last year in Dubai, and tied the knot at their home on Redmire Close in February, with just their Tommy and close family and friends present.

The funeral will take place at 1pm on Friday, June 5, at North Road Cemetery. However, due to coronavirus capacity restrictions, only Mr Newton's wife, parents and sister will attend the graveside.

The Northern Echo:

"It's horrendous that I can't have a proper send off and a wake at a club afterwards for Liam," Mrs Newton said.

"He even mentioned it to me because he knew it [coronavirus] was happening. He asked me what I was going to do.

"It's awful and sad, there would otherwise be hundreds of people there. Everyone loved him."

Instead, "to give him something", there will a procession of plumbing vans, pedal and motorbikes following the hearse up North Road.

Anyone who would like to pay their respects has been asked to come out and clap for Mr Newton and the procession at the roadside around 1pm.