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Bobby Describes Heartbreak After Wife's Sudden Death

Friday June 21 2013

Donna Hartley-Wass Donna Hartley-Wass

A HEARTBROKEN Bobby Knutt has spoken for the first time about how he frantically gave mouth to mouth resuscitation to his adored wife after finding her lifeless on a sun lounger in their garden.

"I knew in my head that she had gone, but my heart would just not let me believe she could have been taken like that," the actor and comedian said.

"I was giving her mouth to mouth and at the same time I was on the phone to the emergency services and I kept going, I kept on trying all the time until the ambulance people arrived and they took over.

"Everyone tried so hard, but it was no good, it was all too late - none of us could bring her back."

Olympic star Donna Hartley-Wass died suddenly aged 58 at their home in Elsecar.

She had joined Bobby to sunbathe in their garden in Saxton Close after she had finished working at Tankersley Manor gym - where she had been manager since it opened.

Bobby, 67, decided he had had enough sun and went inside. An hour later he went back outside and found Donna laying face down on a sun lounger - she was not breathing and had no pulse.

"I don't know how to deal with the memory of her just lying there," he said.

"She was my everything. I fell in love the day I met her nearly 30 years ago and that love never faded - it just got stronger and stronger.

"We never argued, we were just the best of friends and I still can't believe what has happened. She was the most thoughtful, kind, loving person in the world. She was a princess, she was my wife, she was my true love."

Donna, a 400-metre runner, won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Canada in 1978 and a bronze at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. She was awarded an MBE in 1979.

After retiring from the sport in the early 1980s, she became a champion bodybuilder and won the Miss Britain Physique title.

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Reply Posted by b on Friday June 21 2013 at 15:34
my deepest sympathy.x

Reply Posted by Cathy on Friday June 21 2013 at 16:03
Very sad story, met her a few times, a lovely woman taken far too soon. So sorry for your loss Bobby. x

Reply Posted by rachael spours on Friday June 21 2013 at 17:25
Sorry for your loss bobby I know U loved her lots and always will. Known U for a long time hope your ok xx

Reply Posted by deano on Sunday June 23 2013 at 23:00
awfull thing to happen,R,I P Donna,

condolences to Bobby,a true local hero x

words cant say enough xxx