YORK soprano star Rebecca Newman has led the tributes to her husband Jay Fewtrell, who died suddenly at home aged 38.

Jay passed away on Tuesday evening at the family home in Rawcliffe despite efforts by Rebecca and paramedics to revive him.

The couple, married for ten years, have one son, Logan, who turns three this month.

They set up the York Proms in 2017, which ran in Museum Gardens. Rebecca, known as the 'People's Soprano', has toured with Russell Watson, sung with Alfie Boe and has had a number-one classical album.

Rebecca today described Jay as a "whirlwind", a "bear of a man" and their "protector" and told how they called themselves the "home team" who would "face things together".

You can read how Rebecca tried to save Jay's life here.

Team effort

York Press: Rebecca and Jay Fewtrell at York PromsRebecca and Jay Fewtrell at York Proms

Jay was born in Birmingham, grew up with a younger brother, Ben, mum, Lisa, and dad, Christopher, who died when Jay was 17.

Jay moved to York in 2009 to take up a role in York Hospital. After four years working with Rebecca on her music, and founding the York Proms with her in 2017, he begun retraining to be a gas engineer, and set up his own business, which was to be called Viking Gas.

He was a keen motorcyclist and went on two European motorcycle tours with friends.

The couple had a whirlwind romance, meeting in March 2010.

Rebecca recalls: "We met on a dating website and he came to see me in a show at the Grand Opera House, before we’d arranged to meet up.

"I always joked he had the chance to take a peek first! A couple of days later I invited him out for a drink in Kennedy’s and we were inseparable from then on.

Whirlwind romance

York Press: Jay Fewtrell and Rebecca Newman on their wedding day in York in 2010Jay Fewtrell and Rebecca Newman on their wedding day in York in 2010

"We looked at engagement rings after two weeks and got engaged the day after I met his mum when she returned from living in Spain in June. We were married at the Merchant Adventurer’s Hall in December 2011 with a Christmas wedding."

Their son, Logan, was born in August 2017. Rebecca said: "He had always wanted a son. Logan was his world and he was incredibly proud of the boy he was becoming.

"He was definitely the ‘fun parent’, with silly voices, piggy back rides, water fights, and all the stuff little boys love to do.

Loving father

York Press: Jay Fewtrell with his son LoganJay Fewtrell with his son Logan

"Of course, he drove me mad by giving Logan chocolate buttons that he’d bought on his way home just as I was busy plating up Logan’s tea and made my stomach drop when he would throw Logan in the air to the sound of excited baby giggles, but that’s what daddies are for, I think!"

She described Jay as a "whirlwind" and a "protector" who helped people in their time of need.

She said: "He had a goofy sense of humour and a childlike way of viewing the world. After helping to nurse his dad through cancer and losing him to that cruel disease at only 17 years of age, Jay saw himself as the protector of everyone he cared about.

"If there was a problem he is the person who would jump in a car in the middle of the night to come and help, like he did when his friend in Birmingham broke his neck and back in a motorcycle accident a few years ago, and when his sister in law developed serious complications after the birth of his first nephew.

Love of life

York Press: Jay Fewtrell on holiday in Venice, on honeymoon in Thailand and on his motorbikeJay Fewtrell on holiday in Venice, on honeymoon in Thailand and on his motorbike

"He was the a strong bear of a man. After weightlifting semi professionally in his 20s, he still had a lot of that strength and I remember laughing at my elderly neighbour’s face when he had asked Jay to move the appliance, that had just been delivered, into his kitchen and rather than ‘walk it’ along the ground he picked it up on one shoulder and marched towards the house.

"When our dog, Samson, was hit on the main road near our house in 2016, his quick thinking to flag down a car, scoop him up and get him to a vet’s quickly definitely saved his life."

Rebecca says she has been moved by the many tributes being paid to Jay.

She said: "I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support I’ve seen - both for Jay and towards me, Logan and those he has left behind.

"As I’m self-employed, we don’t have a lot of close friends in York we see regularly, but it has shown us just how many lives he touched and how much people want to help and care for us.

"It’s been like a tidal wave and it has been an enormous comfort.

"My Dad and sister came up straight away, from Devon.

"I’ve had many practical offers of help, which I’ve asked people to keep ‘in hand’ for me so that I can call on them in the next weeks and months.

"I know this will be a long road and I will need to ditch my pride and accept help at times, even if it’s just a dog walk or a play date for Logan.

Loving couple

York Press: Rebecca and Jay together in happier timesRebecca and Jay together in happier times

"What initially felt like such a private tragedy, has gained so much more attention than I was expecting, and I hope I can channel that towards Logan’s future, with the extra friendships, relationships and connections we gain as a result. I hope Jay’s legacy will be that those we know - and even we don’t - will reflect on this story and never forget the words 'life’s too short'.

"I’ve already had a friend tell me he is selling his businesses that make him money but make him really stressed and unhappy, and changing careers completely.

"I am happy that some things happened in the past few weeks that tie up some loose ends, that we had a really lovely weekend with friends and that he was feeling good about life and the future. I know if he could say one thing to me now it would be 'you’ve got this, babe'."