A FORMER champion powerlifter described as a “maverick” by his wife has died aged 89.

Father-of-two, John Gallacher, died at his home in Parkstone on February 10, two months prior to his 90th birthday.

John was a consultant hypnotherapist, and after a tough upbringing in Glasgow, he joined the Navy, did his national service, moved to London, met his wife Christine, travelled the world and settled in Parkstone.

Christine, 77, said: “He lived in London and set himself up with a transport business.

“He was 34 at the time and came to move my mother and I from a place in Primrose Hill to Earls Court. He kept something in the van when he did this particular job so he could come back as an excuse to meet me.

“He asked if I wanted to go out and within nine and a half weeks of meeting him we were married.”

Christine said the couple converted an old RAF ambulance and drove to Australia. After a couple of years travelling, they moved back to England, settling in Lower Parkstone.

“This was when he started working as a consultant hypnotherapist and worked here until he was 87,” Christine, who worked as his receptionist, added.

“He helped people with every single type of problem and the first thing he did was put an ad in the Evening Echo.

“He became well known in the area. The thing about John, he was a maverick, a patient would say they would try something and he would say ‘no, you will do it’.

“We had a really happy marriage, we fought sometimes, he was a great guy, although he was my husband and I loved him, I really admired him and his guts.

“At times he had a really difficult life, especially as a child, life was a big challenge, he was a really interesting person.”

Together, John and Christine held strong man competitions in the area, including Bournemouth’s first Highland Games in Kings Park.

The couple trained together at Broadstone Sports Centre and Christine said he was always challenging himself.

She continued: “About 18 months before he died, he got a form of dementia but he was aware of everything until the day he died.

“He was in hospital and we fought to get him home. We got him home and the lockdown happened, he would have died in hospital with a broken heart.

“At home he slowly drifted away with all of us here. He was a really amazing guy and that’s my John.”