The parents of 20-year-old Ed Farmer, who died following a night out with university friends, have paid an emotional tribute to a young man who had ‘a great sense of humour and a big smile’.
Jeremy and Helen Farmer, who are both 52, and their older son William, 22, are facing a Christmas without Ed, who died on Wednesday, December 14.
It is believed he lost consciousness following a night of heavy drinking with fellow students in Newcastle upon Tyne. He died after being taken to a hospital in the city.
Jeremy said: “It doesn’t make it any easier for us but he was doing what he enjoyed, socialising with his friends.
“Losing him at any time would be a tragedy, not just at Christmas.”
Mum Helen: “We’ve had so many cards and letters. Some from people we hardly know.
“It’s been heart-warming.”
Ed was in his first term studying economics at Newcastle University. He was incredibly popular and made friends easily.
Jeremy said: “His endearing quality was his wit. He had a great sense of humour and a big smile.
“Ed had this enviable ability of being able to take the Mickey out of someone without offending them.”
Born in Leicester, Ed went to school in Tugby and Stoney Stanton before spending five years as a day student at Oakham School.
He played rugby, cricket and chess while at Oakham and was also a regular cricketer for his local Tilton and Lowesby club.
Ed supported Leicester Tigers RFC, he loved watching sport and was also a keen pheasant shooter.
He worked part-time at the Halstead House wedding venue, waiting and on the bar.
Ed helped with the harvest on his parents’ arable farm in Tilton-on-the-Hill.
Professor John Wilson, director of Newcastle University’s business school, said: “Whilst he was just starting out on his studies and only with us for a short period of time, Ed showed great academic promise and was well liked amongst his fellow students.”
The university, which said it was ‘deeply saddened’ by Ed’s death, said it would not speculate on how it had happened until an inquest has been held.
Ed left Oakham School in 2015. Headmaster Nigel Lashbrook said: “During his time at Oakham, Ed was a well-loved member of our school community. His death is a devastating loss of a wonderful young man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this incredibly difficult time.”
Ed’s funeral service will be at Oakham School chapel on January 6. The time had not been confirmed as the Mercury went to press.