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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Barrow family plans skydive in tribute to sport fan Tom

A FAMILY has paid tribute to their gentle giant.

Thomas Mitchell died suddenly at his home in Baden Powell Street, Barrow, on Friday. He was 25.

Mr Mitchell, known as Tom to his friends, was a keen American football fan and had been due to train with the Walney Terriers this weekend.

His father Tom Mitchell said his son was always very happy and smiling.

“He was quite an individual,” said Tom senior, 50. “He was a bit like Marmite in that you would have either loved him or hated him. But I never met anyone who hated him.”

The Mitchell family said they were taken aback by the amount of positive messages they had received from people about their son since his passing, with his Facebook site inundated with posts.

As well as being a sports fan, following both the Arizona Cardinals and Barrow AFC, Mr Mitchell was training to be an accountant at Furness College and had previously gained a degree in psychology.

He volunteered to help set up the Barrow and District Credit Union and had been working as his 76-year-old grandmother Alma Fullard’s carer for more than a year.

Mrs Fullard said: “He used to come shopping with me and would always be commenting on how much I was spending.”

Mr Mitchell’s mother, Julie Mitchell, 48, said her son was always very patient with his brother, Jack, when they were bickering.

“We never once had a fight though,” said Jack, 23.

The family said Mr Mitchell had always been good with numbers, and learned how to read and to recite his times tables at a remarkably young age.

The former Walney School pupil could regularly be spotted at North Scale Bowling Club, and enjoyed playing sports as well as watching them.

His grandfather, Ernie Fullard, 74, recalled watching his grandson playing rugby and said he was always bigger than the other children.

“I remember once when he was running through for a try,” he said. “All these other kids grabbed onto him but he just kept going. He went on and scored the try and the other mothers all came onto the pitch to pick up the other kids.’’

The family are now planning a tribute to their son, with his mother, father and brother planning a group skydive to raise money for charity.

Mrs Mitchell said: “He actually hated heights, so maybe it is a good tribute that we can do that.”

An inquest is due to be held into Mr Mitchell’s death.

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