Bobby tried to save wife

Bobby Knutt and Donna Hartley pictured at their Stannington home'28th June 1994
Bobby Knutt and Donna Hartley pictured at their Stannington home'28th June 1994

Comedian Bobby Knutt is preparing to say goodbye to his beloved wife today – after revealing he battled in vain to revive her.

Heartbroken Bobby, aged 67, of Elsecar, Barnsley, found his 58-year-old wife Donna Hartley-Wass’ lifeless body on a sun lounger in their garden.

He said: “I was giving her mouth-to-mouth and at the same time I was on the phone to the emergency services and I kept going, I kept on trying all the time until the ambulance people arrived and they took over.

“Everyone tried so hard, but it was no good, it was all too late – none of us could bring her back.

“I don’t know how to deal with the memory of her just lying there. She was my everything. I fell in love the day I met her nearly 30 years ago and that love never faded, it just got stronger.

“I keep thinking, ‘Oh I must tell Donna that’, and then I realise she’s not here.

“I can’t imagine my future without her.

“We never argued, we were just the best of friends, and I still can’t believe what has happened.

“She was the most thoughtful, kind, loving person in the world. She was a princess, she was my wife, she was my true love.”

Donna had just finished working at Tankersley Manor Gym, which she managed, when she died.

Family and friends will pay their respects at a funeral service at Wentworth Church at 1.45pm today, followed by burial in the churchyard.

Bobby and Donna met at a Butlins holiday camp.

She was a 400-metre runner who won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Canada in 1978 and a bronze at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

After retiring from the sport in the early 1980s, she became a champion bodybuilder and won the Miss Britain Physique title. She was awarded the MBE in 1979.

Bobby appeared on 1970s show The Comedians before an acting career that included appearances in Coronation Street, Last of the Summer Wine and Emmerdale.