Plea to help Mark's devastated family

A DEVOTED dad who died suddenly from a heart condition has left behind a young family.

Now people across Kirklees are urged to rally round his devastated fiance and three children to help them in the coming months.

Tyre fitter Mark Pemberthy, 22, had been called out to replace a burst tyre on a lorry on the M62 near Brighouse a week ago tonight.

Within minutes of starting the job he suddenly collapsed and died.

The Examiner can reveal today that Mark leaves a fiance, 20-year-old Melanie Stevens, their two daughters and baby.

They are four-year-old Holly, two-year-old Heather and eight-month-old Mark - named after his dad. Mark's colleagues at Ravensthorpe-based Link Tyre Sales are setting up a trust fund to help the family.

Now businesses, pubs, clubs and individuals are urged to organise fundraising events to help ease the family's financial burden.

Mark's boss, Link Tyre Sales managing director Len Mellor, said: "Mark died a hard-working man using every penny for his family's daily living.

" Now we hope people will be touched by the tragedy and help his family."

'Mark died a working man using every penny for his young family'

A YOUNG tyre fitter who tragically collapsed and died on the M62 has left a fiance and three young children.

Mark Pemberthy and Melanie Stevens were due to get married this summer, but 22-year-old Mark died suddenly while changing a burst tyre on a lorry on the M62 near Brighouse.

The Thornhill couple have three young children - four-year-old Holly, two-year-old Heather and eight-month-old Mark.

But Melanie said she and the children had been left virtually penniless by the tragedy.

Mark, who had a leaking heart valve and a weak heart muscle, had no life insurance and because he died from natural causes, not an accident, his employer's insurance does not come into play.

Now his workmates at Ravensthorpe-based Link Tyre Sales are setting up a trust fund to support Melanie and the children in the tough times ahead.

And they have appealed to kind-hearted people to either donate to it or hold fundraising events themselves.

Mark had been called out to change the tyre on the lorry on the westbound carriageway of the M62 just after Junction 25 at Clifton, near Brighouse, at 9.15pm last Thursday.

He arrived, parked the van behind the stricken lorry on the hard shoulder, set out his cones and then began to work on the vehicle.

He was taking the damaged tyre from the rim when he was suddenly taken ill.

The lorry driver immediately realised something was badly wrong with Mark and dialled 999.

Ambulance control staff gave him instructions to give first aid in a bid to keep Mark alive until paramedics arrived. Sadly, he was pronounced dead at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Everyone at family firm Link Tyre Sales are devastated by his death.

Managing director Len Mellor said: "Mark was like a son to me. He was a wonderful dad and thought the world of his children. He was so proud of them all."

Mark is one of seven children and had undergone a turbulent childhood, spending time in foster care.

After he met Melanie in 2002 his life changed dramatically and he devoted himself to being a great dad. His van cab was covered in family photos.

Mr Mellor added: "Mark joined us in 2002 from Kirklees Youth Training, initially for a month's trial period. He looked so young, but from the start showed great initiative, attitude and commitment.

"His work was excellent and his time-keeping exemplary. You rarely see that kind of dedication in one so young these days, but he was so determined to provide for Mel and the children."

Mark became a highly-skilled tyre fitter and quickly gained experience well beyond his years.

"We thought he would be a future manager for us," said Mr Mellor. "If a job needed to be done it was done. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he'd always be helping others.

"Mark died a working man using every penny for his family's daily living. Now we hope people will be able to help his family."

Melanie, 20, said: "Mark was such a loving, caring person, always cheerful, laughing and smiling.

"He always wanted his work to involve vehicles in some way and absolutely loved his job. His sister had moved home and he was helping her to decorate. That was the kind of thing he was always doing."

She said both Mark's little daughters have been asking where their daddy has gone.

"There have been a lot of tears and they are sleeping cuddled up to me," said Melanie.

Mark's funeral will be tomorrow at noon at Bradford Christian And Fellowship Church at Tong Street in Bradford, followed by a burial at Clough Lane Cemetery, Hightown, Liversedge.

* The first fundraising event will be at Kirkheaton Cricket And Bowling Club on June 9 at 8pm. Entertainment will include a DJ and a singer.

Clubs, pubs, business and individuals wanting to help can contact Rachael Smith at Link Tyre Sales on 01924 497772 or email