TRIBUTES have been paid to a devoted dad who called his daughter his princess.

Gavin Relph, 37, of Whitehaven, died at the West Cumberland Hospital on July, 16, leaving his nine-year-old daughter Aaliyah.

Daryl Relph said his brother had a love for life. He enjoyed his work, had many friends and had a need for speed, but most of all he lived for Aaliyah.

“He doted on his daughter. She was his reason for living,” said Daryl, 34.

“He was always out doing stuff with her. Whenever he got to see her he was at his happiest. He would always call her his princess.”

A former Moor Row Primary School and Wyndham Secondary School pupil, Gavin worked for construction and engineering firm Stobbarts Limited.

“He was always happy when he had a spade in his hand and was digging a hole. He was really proud of his work, even if it was something as simple as putting down a concrete pad,” Daryl continued.

“He was a need-for-speed kind of guy. He used to have a superbike which he absolutely loved and he loved his cars.

“He was an adrenaline junkie. He went skydiving one time as well. That was one of the best days of his life. He never shut up about it.”

The brothers spent most of their childhood at the Old Captain’s House pub at Bigrigg, which was run by their parents Sharon and David. The family later moved to the Old Country Club leisure centre at Nethertown, near Egremont.

“There was always fun and always stuff going on. The pub used to be bouncing every day of the week and it was a very lively upbringing,” said Daryl.

“Gavin loved music and used to get up on the karaoke in front of a pub full of people. He would only have been nine or 10. He was always singing.”

Gavin, of Red Lonning, was on life support for four days following what appears to have been attempt to take his own life. He had struggled with his mental health for few years, suffering from depression and paranoia.

Daryl said: “Seeing the messages of support it just reminds you that people do actually care. Everyone struggles with mental health and at the time they don’t feel that anyone cares, but people really do.

“If Gavin could only see some of the messages, he would have maybe thought twice the day it happened.”

A gofundme page has been set up in Gavin’s memory to support Aaliyah.

Daryl added: “It’s amazing to see the amount of people that cared about Gavin and that care about his daughter’s future.

“She’ll be well looked after no matter what, but it has been an absolute tragedy.”

Visit to donate.

Gavin's funeral took place on Monday at St James's Church in Whitehaven.