Tributes to 'best dressed builder in Huddersfield' after sudden death aged 35

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary
Huddersfield Royal Infirmary -Credit:Huddersfield Examiner

A mum has paid tribute to her 'bright and generous' businessman son who was described as the "best dressed builder in Huddersfield".

Dad of two Ryan James Wheelhouse had built up a successful construction business from the age of 17 when he dropped out of Greenhead College in Huddersfield to pursue his dream. At one point he had been earning around £10,000 a week and thought nothing of putting £1,000 behind a bar so that all his friends could enjoy a drink on him.

Sadly, Ryan died at the age of 35 following a battle with mental health problems. An inquest into his death heard that Ryan had lost his business and had problems with cocaine and alcohol as well as relationship issues.

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In a statement, his mum Tracy paid tribute to Ryan, calling him an intelligent and generous person who had helped build some of Huddersfield's most beautiful buildings. She said Huddersfield-born Ryan was a "live in the moment" person who had spent his money on friends, cars, and holidays. Tragically, he had developed a cocaine habit and had started to drink more. She said Ryan was a 'larger than life character' but had struggled to accept himself.

Tracy said that Ryan was a "loving and tender man" who had been "hit hard by failure" and would dwell on things. The last four years had been 'hit and miss' for Ryan's work and he ended up losing the business he had built from the age of 17. It was said that he had owed a lot of money to other people.

She said Ryan had gone from being a successful person to living in a garage and with no business. His death had devastated his family but they had found some comfort from him being an organ donor who had saved two people's lives.

The inquest heard from a former girlfriend who found Ryan hanging in her garage in Huddersfield. She managed to cut him down and start CPR before he was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. Sadly he could not be saved and died on November 25, 2023.

Assistant coroner Angela Brocklehurst read out phone messages that Ryan had sent to a former partner in which he said he had 'absolutely nothing' to live for. In the message, Ryan said that "sometimes people's battles" are in their own heads and which "over rule everything that is directly in front of them."

Ms Brocklehurst said Ryan had suffered relationship and addiction problems and had declined mental health services. The coroner concluded that Ryan had died as a result of suicide.

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