Grieving wife’s tribute to ‘gentle giant’ who was Cristiano Ronaldo’s bodyguard

Friends and family have rallied together to raise money for the funeral of a bodybuilder who used to work as a bodyguard for Cristiano Ronaldo and other celebrities.  

Nigel Davis, who competed in bodybuilding competitions including Mr Universe, died at the age of 50 last month with his wife Collette by his side.

The 6ft 5in personal trainer was known to family and friends as 'Big Nige' and died at Royal Stoke University Hospital.

He was well known in Stoke-on-Trent for his big heart and loving character, reports Stoke-on-Trent Live.

He met his wife at the DW Fitness gym in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent. They began training together and they married in September 2018.

Collette, 33, said: “We were inseparable. Couples that train together stay together. He was my soul mate and one in a million.

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“You’d only have to walk into a room and the aura he had was that everybody saw him as a gentle giant. He was polite, loving, he would do anything for anybody.

“Family meant everything to him. He made sure we were okay and looked after. He was respectful, honest and open. He was my angel.”

Collette recalled how on the night that Nigel died, she felt numb and like she had lost a part of her.

She added: “He was a rare diamond, there is nobody like him. His life has been cut way too short. He was an amazing husband, it’s going to be hard to fill his shoes.

“I feel blessed to have the four years that I did. I just wish I had asked him out sooner so I could’ve loved him for longer. 

“He really helped me not just as a wife or a partner, he was my best friend.”

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Mechanic David Bakewell, who had known Nigel for 25 years, set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his friend's funeral.

The page has raised more than £3,800 so far.

David, 48, said: “I had only spoken to him the night before. The fact that he is gone is devastating. He played a big part in my life.

“I lived next door to him for a bit too and we worked on the doors together for a while. We were very good friends.

“He was a big friendly giant who had a heart of gold.”

He added: “He loved his bodybuilding. It was his life, it’s all he ever did.

“Nigel loved helping others and used to give a lot of advice to people about their diet, he always went the extra mile for people. He was a top guy.”

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Kieran Bassan had known Nigel since he was young as they were neighbours. He joined Total Fitness gym in Newcastle at the age of 17 and recalled how Nigel was there to guide him.

The 31-year-old owner of Absolute Barbers in Newcasetle said: “He was the kind of guy that did everything for everybody and the sort of friend that you would want.

“Me and my dad ran a pub and he would supply the door staff. 

“He was a highly respectable man and when I found out he had passed away I didn’t sleep all night. 

“It doesn’t seem real that he is gone. He had a big impact on a lot of people’s lives and it wasn’t just to do with the gym, he was genuinely the nicest person. 

“He was selfless and would do things to help people out. He never charged for the advice he gave at the gym.”

Liam Lucking met Nigel at Impact Martial Arts. The 48-year-old said: “Nigel was a true gent. He was funny and protective of the people he respected.

“We wish him a safe journey. Stay safe and sleep well big lad.”

Norma Carby, 53, worked with Nigel in the 1990s and worked out with him at the gym. She described Nigel as being "built like Hercules".

She said: “All he did was spread love everywhere he went and he was a force to be reckoned with. He never used his size or his authority to demean anyone.

“He was known as one of the pioneers of the door industry and was a man of peace and heart. His legacy will live on forever.”

The funeral will be held at Mount Shiloh Church, in Wolverhampton, on Friday at 11am.

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