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Tributes to inspirational young chef who died in fire next to football pitch

PUBLISHED: 21:15 10 February 2019 | UPDATED: 06:51 11 February 2019

Leon Clark Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Leon Clark Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Archant

The family of a 20-year-old whose remains were discovered in a Suffolk fire have paid moving tribute to a big-hearted young man with 'extraordinary integrity'.

Leon Clark Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYLeon Clark Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

On Friday, Leon Clark was identified as the man killed in a portable building fire beside Leiston Football Club earlier in the week.

The restaurant worker, who had gone missing last Monday, died in a blaze which broke out at about 3.30am the following morning.

Police were called to the scene off Victory Road on Wednesday and later confirmed the discovery of human remains.

Leon’s family, who reported him missing on Thursday evening, said no amount of words could fully express their loss.

Leon Clark Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYLeon Clark Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Paying tribute to his inspirational outlook on life, they said Leon honed his passion for creative cooking at Suffolk New College and secured a job he loved in the kitchen of Prezzo Italian restaurant in Aldeburgh.

“Leon loved working beside his parents on their family allotments, growing different foods that they used as a family,” they said.

“Leon was such a happy-go-lucky young man; he loved life, his family and creative cooking.

“He enjoyed listening to an array of music and he supported Manchester United Football Club from a young age.

Leon Clark Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYLeon Clark Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

“Leon enjoyed both freshwater and sea fishing with his mum and dad, and they shared that passion together as a family.

“Leon was also a very chatty person and never liked to see anyone upset. He had extraordinary integrity.

“Leon also had a big heart and would do anything to help anyone.

“Leon had an inspirational way of looking at life and his individuality is what made him special to everybody who truly knew him. He was truly amazing.”

Leon Clark Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYLeon Clark Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Another tribute, sent with love from Midge, said: “You will be with us, with every heartbeat.”

Leiston’s St Margaret’s Church opened its doors for prayers and reflection on Saturday.

District councillor for Leiston, Tony Cooper said his thoughts were with Mr Clark’s family, adding: “It’s a great shame. It is a very tragic thing to happen.

“You hear these things outside your community and you think how sad it is, but when it’s the actual town it’s a great loss.”

Leon Clark Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYLeon Clark Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Police said initial investigations into Leon’s death indicated no suspicious circumstances.

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