FATHER Christmas paid a special visit to young relatives and family friends in memory of a much-loved 26-year-old.

Jobie Haynes died in a car crash on the B4082 between Upton Snodsbury and Pinvin on March 26 this year.

With family and friends facing a first Christmas without Jobie, his cousin Carl Sampson donned the red suit and beard to surprise the youngsters.

Family friend Lynette Cottrill said: "We wanted to do something special before Christmas to fill the house with lovely memories of Jobie.

"Jobie was a very special young man who had not long been back from travelling and he loved Christmas, very much so.

"We wanted this to be like Jobie had sent Father Christmas to the children. His cousin Carl is one of Worcester's Santas who very kindly each year do various events for charity.

"Through all this heartbreak Susan Tustin (Jobie's mother) and Angie Sampson (Carl's mother) have still made a magical, early-evening surprise for the children.

"It was great to see the children's faces with Father Christmas coming down the stairs and for them to open their presents. We wanted to keep Jobie's memory alive."

A reel of pictures and videos from Santa's visit, set to Slade's Merry Xmas Everybody, has been shared by Lynette on her Facebook page. 

Jobie, previously of Ombersley but latterly of Strensham, had only arrived back in England weeks before the crash having spent time travelling around Australia and south-east Asia.

Hundreds of people attended his funeral at Pershore Abbey in May.

Family and friends decorated a tree in memory of Jobie in a festive memorial to him on the rural route earlier this month.

Twinkling fairy lights were wrapped around the tree along with pictures, love signs, heart symbols, cards, ribbons and Christmas messages.

Floral tributes had previously been left where the crash took place just past the junction for Seaford Lane, near Pinvin. 

Among the items left were a bottle of Captain Morgan rum, balloons and children's drawings.

In a tribute released after her son's death, Susan said: "He was the most caring, loving, amazing person.

“He was kind to everybody. I used to look after people with special needs and he always had time for them.

“Nobody could have a bad word to say about Jobie. If you were feeling down, you knew who to ring.”