AN avid Chelsea football fan was killed after being struck by a car on Sunday.
Stuart Maplesden, 49, of Battle Road, St Leonards, and a cousin of the late lottery winner Mick Maplesden, died at the scene following the accident outside his home just before 5.40am.
Mr Maplesden was hit by a silver Toyota Avensis as he got out of a taxi.
He had just returned from a night out with two friends and planned to get a few hours of sleep before going out again.
His family this week paid tribute to him.
Mr Maplesden’s daughter, Charlene, of Brackendale, said: “Dad was the greatest Chelsea fan ever. It’s at times like this that you realise how many friends he had. Everyone loved him. A lot of people are devastated over his death.
“Dad had always been a Chelsea fan since he was a child and went to all away and home games. If he couldn’t make it there, he would be at the pub with a pint watching the match.
“Dad always had time for everyone else, and always had a smile on his face. He was a real gentlemen to the ladies.”
Mr Maplesden’s favourite haunt was Meze Bar in Queens Road and loved to drink there.
His daughter said: “Dad’s nickname there was Buzz because he had a big chin. I think it was from Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story movies.
“Whenever Dad told people he was off to work, this meant drinking at Meze Bar.”
Mr Maplesden is survived by his children Charlene, Paul, Joel, Chelsea, Kyle, and Bradley Cullen, as well as his eight-year-old grandson, Harvey.
Sussex Police are appealing for witnesses to Sunday’s collision to contact them quoting operation Malpas. Ring 0845 60 70 999.