Brave heart op woman was fighter like her wrestling heroes

Rachel Andrew with wrestlers Stixx and Ricky J McKenzie at a wrestling show at the Winter Gardens in February. Photo by Tony Knox.
Rachel Andrew with wrestlers Stixx and Ricky J McKenzie at a wrestling show at the Winter Gardens in February. Photo by Tony Knox.
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A ‘loveable and kind’ wrestling fanatic collapsed and died aged just 30.

Rachel Andrew never missed a show in Morecambe and was so excited for the next event she already had her tickets booked.

But the former Morecambe Road school pupil will tragically never again get to cheer on her beloved grappling heroes following her sudden death on Thursday.

She collapsed at Lancaster Bus Station of a suspected cardiac arrest.

Her family and friends have been left devastated and tributes have also poured in from wrestling stars and fans from across the UK.

Her regular front row seat at the Winter Gardens will be left empty, as a mark of respect, at the next wrestling show in April.

Rachel had a lifelong heart condition but it never stopped her living life to the full.

She was fitted with a pacemaker aged just five days old and her parents Jennifer and Alan were told she wasn’t expected to live.

Rachel also twice went through open heart surgery - the first time aged seven, the second occasion just days after the death of her beloved dad Alan in 2010.

She also battled back from a minor stroke four years ago.

But Jennifer said: “She never let her heart problem get her down.

“She was a very loveable, kind person. She was always coming up to me and wanting cuddles.

“We thought she was going to die when she was a baby. But she survived 30 years and made a life for herself with the wrestling. I’m so surprised by all the tributes, I didn’t realise how many people she knew.

“Rachel was a bridesmaid at her sister Mel’s wedding last August and she looked absolutely gorgeous, and she was a really proud auntie to Mel’s little boy Davey. Rachel absolutely adored him.

“We used to go up town every day. We’d go for coffee and lunch, and go round the shops.

“She’d started going to Gala Bingo and we’d thought of so many other things we were going to do. I just don’t know what I’m going to do without her. She’s left a gap that will never be filled.”

Rachel celebrated her 30th birthday at the last show at the Winter Gardens in February, when wrestlers ‘Heavyweight House of Pain’ Stixx and Ricky J McKenzie presented her with a cake.

McKenzie, real name Sam Gradwell, said on Facebook: “Sometimes the world is just so unfair. May you rest in peace Rachel, I’m so thankful for the smiles I was able to put on your face.”

Lewis Penney from Morecambe-based wrestling company PAID Promotions wrote: “Wrestling shows in Morecambe won’t be the same without her cheering the heroes and giving the villains hell. My thoughts go out to her family and friends.”

The date of Rachel’s funeral has not yet been confirmed, but Jennifer said guests would be asked to wear Rachel’s favourite colour pink.