A YOUNG man who drowned in a tragic accident was today described as 'a livewire with a zest for life'.
And the mother of Sam Owen, 20, told how he adored family and friends alike.
Maureen Robinson, 48, paid an emotional tribute to Sam, who died after falling into Huddersfield Broad Canal in the early hours of Sunday.
Describing him as a `livewire with a zest for life' she said: "Any party and he was there!"
Sam was walking home with a 27-year-old friend when he slipped and fell from Leeds Road at Deighton into the canal.
Desperate rescue efforts failed to save him.
Sam, of Ashbrow Road, Sheepridge, was a popular young man.
He had been working at Thornton Fencing near his home for seven months, as well as at the Syngenta Club bar off Leeds Road in the evenings.
"He was lovely. He was just so loving to me and his stepdad," said his mother.
She continued: "Sam touched a lot of different lives because he was so friendly. Everybody knew Sam and he knew everybody.
"Lots of people have called or phoned or left cards. It's quite overwhelming."
Kind-hearted Sam, who loved playing pool and the guitar, doted on his family. He visited his grandmother every week, cooked her tea and stayed for a chat.
He was the youngest of five children. He had two brothers, Dai, 29, and Luke, 26, and two sisters, Joy, 28 and Frances, 22.
Sam's 20-year-old step- brother, Dennis, lives in Germany.
Sam became an uncle last Tuesday when Dai's partner, Lindsay Salm, 22, gave birth to little Riley. Riley was Sam's middle name.
Sam's stepfather, Martin Robinson, 46, is an assistant head teacher in Oldham.
He said simply of the tragedy: "I don't think we can quite believe it has happened."
The funeral is planned for next Tuesday at the Huddersfield Methodist Mission in Lord Street.
Sam had helped as a stagehand during panto- mime productions at the Mission.
He went to Mirfield Free Grammar School and then worked for a time at Brighouse video production company Shot in the Dark, which is owned by his father, Alan Owen.
Mr Owen, 52, lives at Beaumont Park.
Nigel Thornton, the managing director of Thornton Fencing, said Sam would be sorely missed.
"Everybody is absolutely shocked and devastated," he said.
Mr Thornton said all his customers loved the bubbly youngster. "He was one for a bit of fun and a bit of a lad.
"You just couldn't fault him. We just won't be able to replace him. He was such a good lad and a good worker."