Grieving father pays tribute to his angel
Lizzie Watkins.

The father of Elizabeth (Lizzie) Watkins paid tribute to his "angel" yesterday, saying everyone who had met his daughter loved her.

As tributes from Perth and around the world rolled in for the talented 24-year-old hockey player and businesswoman, her father Frank Watkins spoke about his daughter's popularity and sporting ability.

"She had more friends than anyone I've ever met," Mr Watkins told Channel 10. "Everyone loved her, (we) still do."

Close friends and family gathered at a family member's house yesterday to celebrate her life.

One of her closest friends, Megan Gammon, said meeting Ms Watkins had made her life richer.

"We lost one of the best human beings to ever grace this earth," she said. "Rest in peace my gorgeous. My life is so, so much better for just knowing you. I love you."

Erin Molloy, another close friend from St Mary's Anglican Girls' School, bid farewell to her "best friend, inspiration, rock and partner in crime".

"You were the most beautiful, caring and driven person I know, who was taken too young at such a high point in your life," she said.

It was revealed yesterday Ms Watkins travelled back from Adelaide at the weekend to play hockey after attending her grandmother's 91st birthday last week.

She was due to attend the Sydney fashion festival but gave the tickets away after missing her grandmother's birthday last year.

West Leederville fashion store Meg and Wally, owned by Ms Watkins and her sister Catherine, is named after her grandparents.

Flowers were placed there in tribute yesterday.

Coffee shop owner Warren Ki, whose business is next door, said store owners at the close-knit shopping centre were in mourning.

Another close friend Nicky Sandover described Ms Watkins as "the best fashion adviser" she could have hoped for.

Ms Watkins' team, the North Coast Raiders Hockey Club, has retired her No. 2 jersey as a mark of respect. Club president Craig Vallipuram said Ms Watkins was a talented, dedicated, loyal and respected club member.

North Coast Raiders said on their Facebook page that they would play their first game since the accident at Perth Hockey Stadium at 8.30pm on Friday.

"Could you all please show your support by coming down honouring Lizzie's memory," the post read.

Ms Watkins' father said the tragedy showed the fragility of life.

"You just have to have a red hot crack at life, you don't know when it is going to finish," he said.

John Carroll, speaking on behalf of the Watkins family, said no one should be blamed for the accident that claimed his sister-in-law's life.

He said Ms Watkins' organs would be donated "so someone can live even half the life she has lived".

The West Australian

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