A MERSEYSIDE artist killed in a horrific Egyptian balloon crash was remembered by friends as “a lovely man.”
Joe Bampton, 40, was among 19 people who died in the tragedy in Luxor, Egypt yesterday.
Visual artist Mr Bampton, from Wallasey, was in the balloon with his partner Suzanna Gyetvai when it caught fire after what witnesses said was a large explosion.
The former St Mary’s College, Wallasey pupil was a well-known face on the Liverpool art scene, having taken part in the Liverpool Biennial and its predecessor Visionfest.
After finishing school Mr Bampton went to Wirral Metropolitan College before studying at the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art in London.
Schoolfriend Sean Dutton said: “He was a fantastic artist.
“He was my friend at school and I went on to lodge with his aunty and learned a lot about antiques and got to know Joe's family well.
“He was a quiet, calm bloke with a dry and wicked sense of humour, a lovely man with a striking wit.”
A talented sculptor and photographer, he produced work for the Bridewell Studios and Gallery on Prescot Street, as well as designing a mural for an Anfield church.
Keen pool player Mr Bampton and Ms Gyetvai lived in Clapham, South West London.
The couple were on a trip with Thomas Cook along with two other Britons involved in the crash, husband and wife Yvonne and Michael Rennie.
Mrs Rennie was killed but Mr Rennie escaped the burning balloon by jumping clear, and was today in hospital.