A 28-year-old health and fitness fanatic has lost his battle against a terrible cancer that struck him down in the prime of his life.

Anthony Bowes died last Friday surrounded by his loved ones in the Royal Bolton Hospital.

The boxing coach and ju jitsu enthusiast worked at a gym and became a personal trainer.

But he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 after suffering a number of severe seizures. He underwent two operations and many scans in the two years that followed.

“He was a fighter until the end, everyone was amazed by his strength of mind,” said his heartbroken mother, Debra.

Despite the gruelling treatment, Anthony Anthony, of Shoreswood, Astley Bridge, managed to go on a lads’ holiday to Amsterdam last March.

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But on his return doctors gave him the devastating news that the tumour had developed into an extremely aggressive grade four tumour.

“It was a bolt from the blue,” said Mrs Bowes. “He underwent a number of intense chemotherapy cycles which made him very sick so in the end he stopped them because he chose quality of life over quantity.”

Anthony was a big Bolton Wanderers fan and during his illness be was befriended by former players Tony Kelly, David Lee and John McGinlay, who were introduced to him by a friend.

“They visited him many times and it really meant a lot to Anthony,” said Mrs Bowes. “He formed a particular bond with Tony Kelly who visited him at least once a week.”

After leaving Sharples High School, Anthony took a motor mechanic course at Horwich College, but went on to work as a door fitter for Ascot Doors and then as an attendant at Bolton Arena.

“He was into his sport and as well as taking up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu he was a talented boxing coach and worked at a gym in Heywood as a volunteer.”

It was due to his interest in sport that led Anthony to decide to aim for a career in health and fitness.

“He qualified as a personal trainer and had just started to establish an online nutrition company when the cancer struck,” said Mrs Bowes.

Anthony died surrounded by his mum and her partner John,  his dad, John and his partner Sharon,  brothers Carl and Danny, girlfriend Sophie and her dad, and his aunt Janice. Hundreds are expected to attend his funeral on March 1.

A service will be held at St Paul’s Church, Astley Bridge, beginning at 10.45am. It will be followed by a service at Overdale West Chapel at noon.

Afterwards, a “Celebration of Life” party will take place at the Wilton Arms from 1pm. “We’re calling it Not a Goodbye Party,” said Mrs Bowes.