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Wayne Roberts: familiar New Milton face was music fan with love for aviation

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Wayne Roberts who has died aged 60
Wayne Roberts who has died aged 60

A NEW MILTON man with a love of music who was well-known around the town for always wearing his headphones has died aged 60.

Wayne Roberts, whose favourite artists included the Bee Gees, Michael Jackson and Queen, could be seen daily in New Milton as he visited cafes and electrical shops.

Wayne was born in Lyndhurst to parents Albert and Rita and spent a short time living in Everton before the family moved to New Milton.

Growing up, they enjoyed caravan holidays and trips to Butlins. Wayne, who was obsessed with aviation from an early age would make planes from kits and fly them in the forest.

The family would also go to Gatwick and Heathrow airports with a picnic to watch from the car park as the planes took off.

Around 25 years ago, Wayne moved in to Sanctuary supported living in the New Milton, which cares for adults with learning disabilities.

His sister Della said: “The Sanctuary quite simply had the most wonderful team of people who cared for Wayne and enabled him to lead his best life. We want to express our gratitude not only to them, but to the Fernmount Centre and Gateway clubs who allowed Wayne to explore his love of photography, woodcraft and art.”

As a child, Wayne had been a “handsome, happy boy” she said, but began experiencing troublesome obsessive behaviour as an early teenager.

She continued: “In the 1970s there was very little diagnosis of children with special needs and with five children in our family, we had to muddle through and learn to live with Wayne's challenging ways. I say this not to sully Wayne's memory, but to acknowledge my most wonderful mum and dad who managed to provide us with such a stable and loving environment under often extreme pressure.”

In his adult years Wayne, who had a love of outdoors, travelled extensively with his family around the Mediterranean and also went to Disney World in Florida.

Della added: “Wherever we went, Wayne could be found sitting outside in the blazing sun with his headphones on, listening to tunes – or even worse, with his stereo in full volume for all to enjoy!”

He also went to the Bournemouth Air Show every year and was a great fan of the Red Arrows.

Wayne passed away at the Lymington New Forest Hospital on 20th December 2018 after a short illness. His funeral was held at Hinton Park Woodland Burial ground.

Della said: “Quite simply we are overwhelmed by the messages of sympathy and support we have had.

“It is a tribute to Wayne's robust character as to how many people in our community knew Wayne and have shown kindness to him, especially in New Milton where he spent almost all his life.”

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