`

Dad dies 14 years after tragic death of his wife and unborn son

Toni Carroll with his daughter Aurora
Toni Carroll with his daughter Aurora
Share this article

Close friends of a former Burnley youth worker, who has died suddenly 14 years after the death of his wife and unborn son, are rallying to help his devastated daughter.

Toni Carroll, who spent several years working with young people and youth groups in Burnley, was found dead at his home on Sunday, July 8th.

Toni and Deborah Carroll on their wedding day in 1998

Toni and Deborah Carroll on their wedding day in 1998

Friends have now launched a fund raising campaign to help his 20-year-old daughter Aurora, pay for his funeral.

Toni brought her up on his own after his 33-year-old wife Deborah died in 2004, just two weeks after losing the couple's unborn child, a son who they had decided to call Dante after the Italian poet and philosopher.

The couple had only been married for seven years and Aurora, who is studying for a sports degree at the University of Salford, was just six years old at the time.

Toni (46) was from Manchester and Deborah grew up in the Queensgate area of Burnley. The couple met in the town's Woodman pub.

Deborah trained as a medical secretary at Nelson and Colne College before she went to work for the Rosehill Surgery in Manchester Road, Burnley.

The fund raising appeal has been launched by family friends, Nicola Sayers and Bill Mansfield.

Nicola, who lives in Burnley and had known Toni for 25 years, said: "We knew he had been depressed after losing Deborah and Dante but he seemed to cope so well and he was a wonderful man who was always willing to help anyone who needed it.

"He was always laughing, joking and upbeat and his nickname was Smiler. He hid the pain he was going through so well.

"Toni did an amazing job with Aurora, he was a fantastic dad and he loved helping and being with young people.

"He loved encouraging them and it is ironic that he has helped so many young people who have felt down or depressed."

The fund to raise the money to help Aurora now stands at £3,865 and has a £10,000 target.

The funeral will take place in Whitworth where Toni moved to live several years ago.

If you would like to make a donation go https://www.gofundme.com/aurora-carroll