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Tributes pour in after 'colossus of hairdressing' David Aumonier dies of cancer at 58

By Jonny Bell

Published 25/05/2016

Hairdresser David Aumonier outside his city centre salon
Hairdresser David Aumonier outside his city centre salon
Hairdresser David Aumonier's wife Lawrain
Hairdresser David Aumonier and wife Lawrain.

Renowned hairdresser David Aumonier (58) - described by stylists as "a colossus" in the industry - has died following a battle with cancer.

Announcing his passing yesterday, Mr Aumonier's widow, Lawrain, said he died peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by his loving family.

Tributes to the stylist, described as an industry hero, have been flooding in from his peers and major figures from the world of sport.

There has also been a outpouring of grief and support for the family, with many who knew Mr Aumonier paying their heartfelt respects.

Lawrain, who is originally from Edinburgh, is famous in her own right, having styled stars such as Sean Connery and Shirley Bassey.

The couple ran their business together in Bangor for more than two decades before David was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called leiomyosarcoma in 2012. Tragedy struck again a short time later when he broke his back in a fall.

That, together with what he called "adverse trading conditions", forced him to take a step back from hairdressing in 2013 after 40 years in the business, although he continued to work a couple of days a week when he felt well enough.

David was the first person from Northern Ireland to be nominated for the prestigious British Hairdressing Awards, receiving six nods.

Photographs of hairstyles he created have also been published in magazines right around the globe.

Clients were dedicated to David, with many travelling across Ireland and from further afield to be styled by him - including one woman who flew from Dubai every eight weeks for a hair appointment.

He also continued to indulge in his passion for football - Manchester City and Bangor FC were his twin loves, and he was a well-known and popular figure in the Co Down town.

The stylist clipped the barnets of the Northern Ireland squad for the 1982 and 1986 World Cups, when their training base was at Clandeboye Road football ground.

Northern Ireland and Manchester United legend Norman Whiteside said: "Very sad news to hear of the passing of David Aumonier, real gent, cut the mullets in the '80s RIP."

Fellow hairdresser Paul Stafford added: "Numbed by the heartbreaking news of David Aumonier passing. A colossus of a figure in hairdressing, an incredible charismatic, generous, loving family man. At every gig I would scan the crowd looking for that familiar smile and wave. 'How are Leeds doing?' he would say, knowing too well how bad we were.

"His kind words, bear hugs and friendship... you left an immeasurable mark on me David and I'm glad that I got the chance to tell you.

"Hairdressing has lost a great hero - we all have lost a great friend. My thoughts are with Lawrain Aumonier, Paris and Davis."

Former BBC radio presenter Alan Simpson, a long-term client of the stylist, said the world had lost a "shining light".

"Proud to have called David Aumonier a friend," he added. "Anyone lucky enough to have known or even met David will never forget that amazing smile.

"A larger than life character with a huge personality and an even larger heart, David was a very, very special person.

"Not only did he share his smile, but that laugh will last for ever and ever.

"I was lucky to spend some time with David last week. He was frail and in pain from this horrible, horrible disease, but his amazing smile shone as bright as ever.

"His amazing family - Lawrain Aumonier, Paris Aumonier, Davis Aumonier - surrounded him and the palpable love they shared will be a beautiful memory that I am so proud to have.

"Everyone that ever met David will never forget that smile. There will only ever be one David Aumonier."

Cool FM DJ Pete Snodden also spoke out to pay his respects to the hairdresser

"Mr Football was nothing but a gentleman - privileged to have known him," he said. "Thinking of you all (David's family) at this terrible time."

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