Tributes to Stoke City fan Phillip Bowers: 'We loved him very much'
LOOKING at a photograph of fun-loving Phillip Bowers still brings tears to his family's eyes.
The popular and loving dad-of-one was the centre of his close-knit family before his tragic death last year.
What's worse, Phillip died struggling with an alcohol addiction that he had been on the verge of beating many times.
His family have now paid tribute to the 39-year-old avid Stoke City fan, who was trying to turn his life around.
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His sister Lisa Harris, aged 35, from Waterhayes said: "Phillip knew that drink was taking over his life.
"I took him to a counselling clinic on Broad Street, Hanley and it seemed to be helping him but he stopped going thinking he had beaten it.
"He went from a social drinker who was the life and soul of a party to someone who couldn't control it."
Phillip, from Rydal Way, Clayton, passed away at his flat last April.
A post-mortem found that he died from alcoholic ketoacidosis, which could have been his body reacting to his attempts to stop drinking.
The second eldest of five siblings, Phillip, a bricklayer and warehouse worker, was a keen fisherman and would often spend precious time with his father Stuart.
His family told how Phillip enjoyed holidays abroad to Ibiza, Cuba and Mexico and would go to the pub with a big group of friends or enjoy time with his family, playing games with his nieces and nephew.
His step-mother Barbara Bowers, aged 53, from Audley, said: "We all loved him greatly and all did our best to help and support him."
Phillip studied at Sneyd High School before leaving aged 16 to take up a two-year bricklaying apprenticeship. He went on to work as a self-employed bricklayer and labourer along with brothers Steven and Lee, who joked that he always turned up in designer outfits.
Steven, aged 42, from Silverdale, said: "I always made sure that Lee and Phillip had building work over the years because we were a gang.
"He used to come to work in Armani jeans and his buckets and tools were always pristine.
"If you put water in the wrong bucket or mortar in the wrong bucket he would go mad and everybody used to have a laugh with him."
His mother Carol Myatt, aged 60, from Silverdale, added: "Phillip was a kind, outgoing, and generous son who was always on the phone to his family.
"He wouldn't even let me do his ironing because it had to be done a particular way – and I never got it right."
The family told how the biggest loss will be to his five-year-old son, who Phillip used to dress in a Stoke City kit and play football with.
Phillip's friends have now set up an annual football tournament in Silverdale in his memory.
Money raised will go to the Donna Louise Trust which he supported during his life.
For anyone who may be struggling in similar circumstances ADSIS (Alcohol and Dependency Specialist) helps individuals in the Staffordshire Moorlands, Leek and Newcastle. For advice, call 01782 271096.
In addition, the Aquarius branch covers Stoke-on-Trent and can be contacted on 01782 283113.