THE devastated family of a young York man who died suddenly have paid tribute to a “fun-loving, sporting, caring and loyal” son and brother.
Jamie Lawrence, 20, was found dead in his bedroom at the family home in Barley Rise, Strensall. last weekend.
Police say there are no suspicious circumstances and an inquest has been opened and adjourned.
His father Joe, mother Lin and sister Emma told The Press that the former Robert Wilkinson Primary and Huntington School pupil had had everything to live for.
They revealed that he had been preparing for an interview to rejoin the army, after being discharged two years ago on medical grounds, and had bought birthday presents for his girlfriend Laura Hare the day before he died.
Mr Lawrence, speaking on behalf of the family, said: “We are incredibly proud of Jamie. He was fun-loving, sporting, popular, caring, loyal. He played football for Huntington School and Strensall Tigers when he was younger and Strensall FC more recently.
“He also played darts for the Half Moon pub in Strensall, and won half a dozen trophies and was named player of the league.”
The family said Jamie had attended the Army Foundation College in Harrogate after leaving school and became a vehicle mechanic, but had to leave because he suffered from Raynaud’s Disease, a circulation problem which was exacerbated during training in very cold conditions.
However, the condition had eased recently and he had passed a test to rejoin the army and was awaiting an interview.
They said he had been incredibly popular, with a large circle of friends who had been shocked by his death, including Lewis Knox, Brad Rawle, Martin Stone and Daryl Robson. One friend, darts partner Johnny Cooper, said Jamie had been “one of the boys.”
Mick Leigh, secretary of Strensall FC, said Jamie had been the team’s leading goal scorer. “He was a good lad,” he said. “He always had respect for people.”
The family has said Jamie’s funeral will take place at 2.30pm next Thursday at St Wilfrid’s Garrison Church at Strensall, followed by burial at Strensall and Towthorpe Cemetery and then a wake at the Half Moon.
They asked people if possible to wear “onesies,” which Jamie had loved wearing, or otherwise bright coloured-clothing. They also requested that instead of flowers, people make donations to Emma, who will be taking part in the Great North Run to raise funds for Help For Heroes in memory of Jamie.
Hundreds of tributes have been written to Jamie on his Facebook page. One friend, Adam Myerscough, wrote: “Couldn’t ask for a better friend... I will miss you every day, love you pal.”
Joe Sawyer, wrote: “You had this unique personality which everyone wanted to be around and which everyone loved you for... there is no one who could ever come close to your level... You will forever be in my heart and memories”.
Jasmin Walker wrote: “Memories of you will always stay with me forever, your smile brightened up everyone’s day, you will be missed by all, just doesn’t seem real”.
Tributes to Jamie and messages of condolence may be left below.