Heartbroken friends unite to remember Tom

HEARTBROKEN friends united in remembrance to pay moving tribute to a popular teenager who was killed in a motorcycle crash.

Craig Robinson

HEARTBROKEN friends united in remembrance to pay moving tribute to a popular teenager who was killed in a motorcycle crash.

Tom Marshall, of Gedgrave Road, Orford, should have been sitting an A-Level exam yesterday.

But the 18-year-old's life was tragically cut short when his motorcycle collided with a car in his home village on Friday evening.

Around 100 of his friends and fellow Farlingaye High School pupils gathered in Elmhurst Park in Woodbridge yesterday to pay their respects.

Mike Maggs, who had been friends with Tom since year seven, said: “We are here to remember a great guy and an awesome friend. Someone we could turn to if we had a problem and who would make you laugh when you needed it. I will never forget Tom and what he did for us and what he did for others - he was a very charitable person.”

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Jack Reed, 17, who helped to organise the gathering, said: “He was a brilliant guy. It is really moving that so many people have come here today, from so many different groups. That's the type of person Tom was, popular with everyone. He has brought us all together. I don't think anyone had a bad word to say about him.”

Chloe Ehlert, 16, who also helped to come up with the idea of the gathering, said: “He could just walk into a room and make you smile. He always had the right words to say.”

James Teeple, 17, added: “He was a really fun guy to be with. He worked hard at everything he did. He was very driven and he had goals. Out of all of us he was the one person we weren't worried about - you knew he was going to be OK.”

Sarah Moody, 16, who lives in Orford, said: “The whole family are just so amazing. They want to help everybody. For them to be in this situation is terrible. It was brought the whole community together.”

Tom - who was hoping to go to Bangor University to read Marine Biology and Oceanography - was taking A-Levels in biology, geography, PE and general studies.

He was the youngest of three and his family are heavily involved in village life as his mother, Wendy, is a practice nurse and his father, Guy, runs the local youth club.

Along with a passion for Freddo chocolate bars he enjoyed snorkelling, kayaking and sailing and worked as a life guard at Leiston Swimming Pool.

He also liked playing rugby and was very charitable - helping out in Farlingaye's Adopt a Teacher scheme and at a local youth club.

He also worked with his family to raise money for orphans and the needy in Mozambique.

His friends are now hoping to organise a fundraising concert and bike ride in aid of the charity.

The teenager was riding a Suzuki motorbike along Ipswich Road when it collided with a red Mazda car just after 5pm on Friday.

Paramedics and police officers went to the scene but he was pronounced dead when they arrived.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Suffolk Police on 01473 613500.