‘Hero’ dad trampled to death by herd of cows ‘after going back to save old dog’

This is the first picture of a ‘hero’ dog walker who was trampled to death by a herd of cows after reportedly going back to save his elderly pet.

John McNamara, 67, is said to have already helped his two other dogs get to safety before returning to rescue the 14-year-old Golden Retriever.

A brave and "golden-hearted" father, he was tragically found fatally injured in a field near his cottage home in Forest Row, East Sussex, on Monday.

His dog’s body was also discovered in the field.

Although the cause of both deaths has yet to be officially confirmed, it is believed that they were trampled by a herd on the farmland.

One of John’s daughters said he suffered "quite a violent death".

Tributes are now being paid to the "wonderful man", who had volunteered for a local community centre and was "very, very much liked".

Speaking outside his four-bed detached home, John’s daughter said: "We do want to raise concerns to stop things like this happening again because it was quite a violent death which could have easily been avoided."

She declined to comment further as she went into the house with her sister.

Her pal, Koko Easterbrook, paid tribute to John on Facebook , saying he was "one of the most bravest, golden-hearted should I have even known".

Koko wrote: "This man in question actually went above and beyond, getting his other two dogs out of harm’s way before returning to rescue the third who was quite elderly and couldn’t get out of the way fast enough.

"An absolute hero."

John, who was retired, was known to many as Johnny Blue owing to his fervent support for Chelsea Football Club, Kent Live reports.

He volunteered in the Forest Row Community Centre’s kitchen every Thursday.

John Grantham, 83, a retired blacksmith and former farrier for the Horse Artillery, said the father would have "known where he was going".

He said: "It’s just unbelievable that something like this could happen and especially for somebody like John who will have known where he was going.

"It was his wife I knew better because she’s an osteopath and she used to treat my wife and me.

"I knew him here and he was a wonderful man, we used to joke together, I used to pull his leg and he would pull mine just as viciously!

"He had a very good sense of humour, he was just a happy man.

"He has got children, one daughter who’s at home at the moment.

"He had three dogs. I’ve seen his dogs – I’ve been to the house.

"I think they were Labrador type dogs."

He added: "He knew the area, he would have walked there regularly.

"I would have thought he would have gone through them before so it seems odd that this should have happened.

"The only thing I can think of is something spooked the cattle."

Keith Whitlock, a retired academic, also paid tribute to John.

He said: "He volunteered for the community centre – he had done it for years.

"He would literally come and take out orders and bring us the food.

"He was very very much liked.

‘He did an excellent job and I suppose one has to say most of the people who serve were women and because he was the only chap he stood out."

Police have said they are not treating the two deaths as suspicious.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: "The bodies of a man and a dog were found in a field on farmland in Priory Row, Forest Row, at 1.45pm on Monday.

"The deaths of the 67-year-old and his dog are not being treated as suspicious .

"The circumstances are being investigated and the coroner’s officer is dealing with the deaths."

The deaths come two months after 64-year-old Stephen Sandy was trampled to death by his cattle just a 15-minute drive away in Groombridge.

Government statistics show that nearly 80 people have died in accidents involving cattle since 2000 – about four a year.

The majority of victims are farm workers, but a quarter are unsuspecting members of the public out walking on footpaths.

Read More

Top news stories from Mirror Online

  • Mystery £16m Harrods shopper revealed
  • Storm Callum warning for UK
  • Royal Wedding bridesmaids revealed
  • Parasitic worm removed from man’s eye

Source: Read Full Article