This is the first picture of the heroic husband who died during the Tunisian terror attack sheilding his wife from a hail of BULLETS on the beach.
Brave Stephen Mellor, 59, is photographed full of wedded bliss on the happiest day of his life after getting married to his “soulmate” Cheryl nine years ago.
But while the couple enjoyed a romantic break, Stephen was gunned down desperately trying to save her life during the terrorist massacre that claimed 38 lives.
Mother-of-two Cheryl, 55, suffered gunshot wounds to her forearm and leg and has told how her hand was “blown straight off”.
Severely injured, Cheryl lay and pretended to be dead amid the carnage as the IS terrorist continued his killing spree on the beach in the holiday resort of Sousse.
The couple, who were married in June 2006, had hidden behind their sun loungers when terrorist Seifeddine Rezguithe opened fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle.
Speaking from her hospital bed, Mrs Mellor said: “There were bullets everywhere. It was terrifying. The noise will stay with me for ever.
“There were so many screams. My husband turned to me and said, ‘Get down – get down’.
“He said, ‘We’ve got to make a run for it’. I turned around and there was a gun pointing right at me around 20ft away . I thought I was dead.
“He blew my hand straight off. All I could see was this figure with a gun, dressed in black.
“I was screaming at people to check Stephen and someone looked and they said he had no pulse. They said he was gone.”
Terrified Mrs Mellor, who lives in Bodmin, Cornwall, added: “I couldn’t move. There was nothing I could do. I just played dead.”
She was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery, where her condition was stabilised, and has now been flown back to the UK for further hospital treatment.
Husband Stephen was not named as among the dead until Monday morning but his widow said she had always feared the worst.
She said: “This is a nightmare. Stephen was a lovely man. He was my soulmate.”
Fellow holidaymaker Allen Pembroke, 61, from Essex, has described going to Mrs Mellor‘s aid as she lay on the beach surrounded by dead bodies.
He said: “Cheryl was the only person I could find who was alive.
“I offered to carry her back to the hotel, but she said she didn’t want to leave her husband, even though I could see he’d been killed.
“She asked me if she should play dead, and I said that was the best thing she could do if she didn’t want to come with me.
“Her wrist was in a terrible state and she had a bullet wound in her leg; there was a lot of blood.
“I managed to wrap up her leg to try to stop the bleeding.
“Her husband Stephen was lying on his side to the right of a sunbed. I could see he was gone.
“There were six or seven people all around Cheryl, and they were all dead.
“There was nothing more I could do, and I went back to the hotel to make sure my wife was OK.
“I’m just so glad Cheryl is alive for her family, and sad for the loss of her husband.
“Unfortunately I was unable to help him as he was already dead.”
Mr Mellor, who worked for Irons Brothers of Wadebridge and was a popular member of the local golf club, leaves behind three sons from a previous marriage.
Matthew Robinson, the company’s chairman said: “He was extremely popular and his loss has been a terrible shock for everyone.
“He was an easygoing, honest and straight forward character and he will be sorely missed.”