FRIENDS of York man Andy Eveleigh – who died on the first day of what should have been a dream holiday in Turkey last year – will be raising a glass in his memory tonight, on what would have been his 35th birthday.

Andy’s mum Elaine has arranged for her son’s friends to meet at the Hogshead pub (formerly the Flag and Whistle) in Huntington Road from 6.30pm tonight.

She said: “We will be raising a pint in his memory. If anyone wants to come along, they will be more than welcome.”

Andy, then 34, flew out to Turkey for what was supposed to be a dream holiday in early March last year.

It was his first trip abroad since he was a little boy – and he was hugely excited.

He sent video messages from the plane to his mum Elaine, and said he’d call her when he got to his hotel, the luxury Lake & River Side Hotel in Side, Antalya.

But he never called. And when Elaine finally got through to Andy’s hotel on the phone the next morning and asked them to check on him, they found Andy lying dead in his room.

A heartbroken Elaine had to fly out to Turkey alone to identify her son’s body, and arrange for him to be flown home.

At his funeral in April, Liverpool fan Andy's coffin was carried into the chapel at York Crematorium by six pall-bearers sporting Liverpool FC shirts - all with 'Andy E' stencilled on the back.

The packed chapel heard tributes to a ‘popular lad’ who had ‘loved cheeky banter’ and also had a ‘caring side’.

Celebrant Gill Taylor told mourners: "He would do anything for anyone, especially those he loved.

"He would always try to put a smile on everyone's face. 

"He was a big character. His mum would say to his Nana 'our Andy's coming' and Jean would say 'how do you know' and Elaine's reply would be 'cause I can .. hear him coming up the street!'"

But Andy also battled an addiction to drugs.

Elaine, who lives in New Earswick, accepts that Andy had a drug problem – including both heroin and cocaine.

He had battled with it for 12 years, she said – and tried to get clean several times, always without success.

A coroner ruled at Andy’s inquest last month that his death was drug-related, as a result of multiple drug use.

Elaine accepts that Andy probably used drugs just before flying out to Turkey last year.

But she’s convinced that he didn’t take any with him - and that part of his reason for going was to get away for a while from the local drugs scene.

The inquest prompted her to make an impassioned plea against drug use through the pages of The Press.

“They won’t listen to advice, I know,” she told the newspaper. “But if anyone is thinking of trying drugs, I will say – don’t ever try. Because it will take your life. It will ruin your life.”

Elaine spent a quiet Christmas on her own – her mum Jean went to stay with her other daughter, Elaine’s sister.

Now Elaine says she just has to find a way of moving forward, for the sake of her other son Shaun and Shaun’s two daughters – Elaine’s granddaughters.

“You never expect your children to die before you,” she said. “I’m going to just have to try to look forward, and focus on Shaun and my granddaughters.”