THE father of three-year-old Warrington IRA bomb victim Johnathan Ball has been found dead at his home after suffering a suspected heart attack.
Wilf Ball, 69, who lived in Grappenhall, never got over the tragedy of losing his only child in the bombing atrocity which also claimed the life of 12-year-old Tim Parry.
Separated from Johnathan's mother, Marie Comerford, shortly after the bombing in March, 1993, Mr Ball lived alone.
He had recently been campaigning to be allowed to keep Johnathan's teddies on the youngster's graveside at the Hillcliffe Cemetery, in the town, after the local council ruled he had to remove memorials placed there. He had been caring for the graveside for 11 years.
Mr Ball, who had become a father for the first time late in life, described Johnathan as his "little Angel".
It is thought he may have been dead for up to two days before being found by neighbours on Tuesday.
Peace campaigner Colin Parry said he was shocked to hear of Mr Ball's death.
"We shared a tragic background and I got to know him quite well over the years.
"It comes as quite a shock as he was in the Peace Centre only two weeks ago when the Victims Minister, Angela Smith, was visiting.
"He seemed his normal self and didn't appear to be ill.
"Now the poor guy has gone perhaps he will find some peace from some of the problems he had in his life."
The death has been reported to the coroner, but it is not yet known if an inquest will be necessary.
A total of 56 people were injured when IRA terrorists planted two bombs in the Golden Square shopping centre.
Following the deaths of the two boys, the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Trust was set up and a Peace Centre created in Warrington.
The centre opened in March 2000, on the seventh anniversary of the bombing, with the aim of helping young people from around the world understand the nature, causes, management and resolution of conflict through non-violent means.
It provides accommodation, IT facilities, and conference and dining space to train young people in peace and conflict resolution.
To date, the charity's "Children for Peace" campaign has trained more than 7,000 young people to become Ambassadors for Peace. Programmes are offered to participants free of charge, to ensure equality of access, participation and opportunity.
Last month, Rotary International presented its highest honour, the Rotary Award for World Understanding and Peace, to the trust.