TRIBUTES have been paid to a dedicated dad who died in tragic circumstances.

The devastated family of ‘loving family man’ and former national Bowls champion Shaun Nutman today told of their heartbreak after the husband and father of two died at home in Chickerell Road, Weymouth.

His wife Amanda told how she spent two hours trying to stop her husband from taking his own life and called her father-in-law but by the time he got there Shaun was dying from self-inflicted wounds.

Roy said his 33-year-old son – who captained England at bowls – had ‘just snapped’.

He said: “He looked at me and took hold of my hand. He died in my arms. That’s how I shall always remember it.”

Shaun lived in Weymouth all his life, going to Cromwell Road Infants School – now Beechcroft – before going to the old Westhaven School, Budmouth and then Weymouth College.

He met his wife Amanda 14 years ago and they have two girls Amy, six, and Hollie, two.

Amanda, 31, said: “He was a family man most of all. He idolised his daughters and he was a fantastic dad. I’ve been with him half my lifetime.”

Shaun has suffered a breakdown before and in August he started seeing a counsellor after suffering from anxiety.

Amanda, who married Shaun at Holy Trinity church seven years ago, added: “For the last four or five weeks he was ringing the crisis number. I asked doctors about his suicidal thoughts and they said it won’t become real.

“They said it’s anxiety and he was always talking about it so he was less likely to do it.”

She added: “We had a nice evening and he said how much he loved me. He had become ill in his head. For two hours I tried to get him to take his medication but that night I could not sway him. He loved his life and he did not mean to do it.”

Amanda said she called for support on Monday afternoon but Shaun only wanted to speak to her.

She added: “He said he was not scared. He was calm, but his mind had gone. But he tried for the children.”

Shaun worked as a postman from the age of 18. Then two years ago he left to work with his dad and brother at the family business R and B Trophies in St Nicholas Street.

Growing up Shaun’s passion was football and he played for Weymouth Boys Club until he broke his ankle in his early teens.

Aged 10 he started playing bowls with his dad and he and his brother Darren excelled at the sport. Shaun played for England for six years, captaining the team.

Darren, 35, said: “We were very close. He was one of the best bowlers the county has ever seen.”

His mum Barbara, 61, said the family is ‘absolutely devastated’ She said: “He used to go for counselling for one hour a week and it did nothing for him and he was always phoning the crisis service.

What is so tragic is that he did not get the help he should have had and I just hope nobody ever has to go through what he had to go through.

“But we’re just very proud of him and his achievements.”

THE bowls community have also been paying tribute to Mr Nutman.

Adam Tidby moved to Dorchester Bowls Club from Hampshire to play alongside Shaun and they became the club’s first national champions in 1997.

He said: “I’ve played with a lot of great players and Shaun ranks right up the top there.

“It’s an absolutely tragic, tragic loss and my sympathies go to Amanda and the rest of the family.

“Everybody in the bowls world is completely shocked and I’ve lost a great, great friend.

“I saw him last Thursday and we had a practice and that’s the last time I saw him.

“I’m gutted and feel sorry for his two girls.”