Tributes to ‘loveable rogue’ doorman with a ‘heart of gold’ who died suddenly

The family of a Burton man who was known for working as doorman at clubs in the nineties, have paid tribute to the “lovable rogue” after he died suddenly aged 50.

Ian Kelly, was born and bred in the town and led a colourful life working with, stars including boxers Tyson Fury and Frank Bruno, as well as teaching martial arts to youngsters.

Now his older brother Wayne has told how Ian would welcome anyone with open arms, saying his brother would be remembered for his “heart of gold”.

Wayne, who is 51, said: “Ian was a kind lad and he left a lasting impression.

“Growing up we used to get up to all sorts and we were inseparable.

“When we were younger Ian was always accident prone.

“We grew up in Abbey Street in the seventies and mum was giving me a wash when the next minute there was a crash and an almighty scream.

“Ian had pulled the cord from the TV and it fell on top of him.

“We called him scarface for years after that!

“Then there was the time he was scootering along the Ferry Bridge on a three-wheel scooter when he went flying and dislocated his shoulder. He also fell into some nettles on the Ferry Bridge and got stung from head to toe – there wasn’t enough calamine lotion in the world for him then.

“I had to save his life once. When we were lads, we were walking along the roof of an old transport yard. One of the beams broke and I just caught him. As I looked down I saw a mechanic’s pit below so we were lucky.”

Despite his mischievous side, Ian, who went to Paget School, managed to hold down a job at Hodgson and Hodgson Insulation before working on the doors of Burton and Ashby nightclubs alongside his brothers Wayne and Alan, 49, and his friend Pete Ford.

Mr Ford, 47, said: “Most people know him from his time on the doors . Ian worked at The Dog, The Venue and The Jubilee.

“He would sometimes get himself in a bit of bother but it was always helping others. He would welcome you with open arms and he took on every walk of life.

“People respected him and he was the sort of person that everybody wanted to be around.”

Wayne, who lives in Branston and works as a HGV driver for Marston’s Brewery, said his brother was always immaculate and “knew how to make a penny or two.”

He said: “My dad always kept his hair good and I think me and my brothers have to take some responsibility for the O-zone because of the amount of hairspray we used.

“Ian was always immaculate and he liked to look good. He loved his cars, especially his red Porsche.”

Ian first started doing karate with his friend Jon Jepson in Burton and later taught martial arts in Burton, Swadlincote, Derby and Ashbourne. He also took care of boxing stars Tyson Fury, Carl Froch, Kell Brook and Frank Bruno during their early careers.

Wayne said: “He was colossal.

“He fought at national and international level and he was all muscle.

“He featured in a martial arts magazine and they called him “The Freak” because he was so quick.

“He was as fast as a middleweight even though he was a heavyweight.”

Wayne said Ian first started to feel unwell a few days before his death and he urged him to go to the hospital.

Finally on January 30, Ian went to the hospital with his partner Paula Brooks. He was found to have an ulcer on his leg that caused septicaemia.

Later that night he told Paula, who was his childhood sweetheart to go home, thinking he would be all right. She left and received a phone call from the hospital a couple of hours later telling her Ian had died from a heart attack.

Wayne said: “He was a lovable rogue and I still can’t believe he has gone.

“Ian had a heart of gold. If he had it he would give it to you. He loved his dogs, Ice and Messi, and he loved his family and friends.

“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated to the fund-raising page that was set up for Ian and to those who came to the wake at The Albion on Shobnall Road.

“The funeral was packed. He was so loved.

“We had a party with a disco he would have loved it.”

Source – Derby Telegraph

 

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