A Keighley man, who was left severely disabled after being run down by a drink-driver 14 years ago, has died aged 43.

Stewart Whitaker, who was nicknamed “Bopper”, died at home in Oakworth after a lung infection.

His father and carer, 74-year-old John Whitaker, said Stewart had been a lovely, friendly, generous person.

Stewart was mown down when he was 29, while working in London. The accident meant he was confined to a bed, and could not walk or speak.

He was born in Keighley, and educated at Bronte Middle School and Oakbank School.

He then completed a five-year motor engineering apprenticeship with Bradford Council before moving to Los Angeles for two years where he worked with cars and helped to fit kitchens.

On his return to England he got a job with a company which refurbished pubs and hotels.

He was employed as a site manager on the day he was injured.

His father said: “He was a Leeds United fan and he used to play cricket for the Oakworth junior team.

“He was always good with design and with his hands.

“On the day the accident happened he rang me and asked if I could put in an offer on his behalf for a house in Oakworth. And that was the last time he was able to speak to me.”

Mr Whitaker, who is married and has two other children, said that over the years that followed, his son required intensive care.

He survived periodic health crises triggered by his severe brain damage.

The family was assisted by a team of visiting district nurses from Kilmeny Surgery, whose work to help look after Stewart won praise. Mr Whitaker said the nurses had been exceptionally caring and that their dedication deserved recognition.

Stewart’s funeral took place at Oakworth Crematorium yesterday.