'We can't imagine life without him' - Family's tribute to Joe Langfield, 27
- Credit: Supplied by family
The family of a much-loved 27-year-old have paid a moving tribute to him after he died suddenly.
Mischievous, funny and always on the go, they say Joe Langfield was never far away from the centre of the action.
Parents, Jackie and Richie, and younger sister Victoria, have been left devastated at his sudden loss. He collapsed and died on Friday.
They say he was "the light in so many lives and the world will be darker place without him". His family have also expressed their gratitude to the person who stopped to help Joe before the ambulance could arrive.
Mum Jackie described Joe as “a real character who took every opportunity to live life to the full".
She said: "As we try to recover and re-build our lives, we will be sure to continue with his philosophy on life and enjoy every moment together. We are taking comfort in the knowledge that his 27 years were filled with such happiness, adventure and love.”
Joe, known to many as Joey, grew up in Kesgrave attending Heath Primary and Kesgrave High School.
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Jackie said: "He had many friends at school and was always involved in things going on around him. I had many calls from the school. It was never serious, just real boys' stuff and sometimes it was hard not to smile as we told him off!”
She continued: "He will be remembered mostly for his sense of humour and infectious, cheeky smile. He was a real people person, he loved people. Comfortable in anyone’s company he would light up the room and always liked to tease and wind up his friends.”
Joe completed his electrical apprenticeship and entering the world of work. He worked for LJH Electrical.
Jackie said: "Even at school he wanted to be an electrician and that is the path he followed. He loved his job and the people he worked with. I think he enjoyed the freedom of always having something different every day”.
Freedom was a big part of Joe's life, he had a need to always be busy and anyone who knew him closely will know his phone never stopped ringing with work.
Joe had worked hard to save a deposit for his first house which he bought last autumn. He then spent the next few months renovating it with the help of his dad Richie and some of his trade-connected friends with his mum, girlfriend and sister helping where they could.
“He finally moved in to his gorgeous home at the end of March, and we could not have been prouder of our Joe," Jackie said.
His close group of friends and many others from his school days have been comforting his family and girlfriend Morgan in the wake of his death.
"His closest friends Ali, Bill, Reece, Sam, Callum, Joule, Joe and Paige have been incredible," said Jackie.
"They have been invaluable to us over these first few days. We have laughed and cried and shared stories and memories of Joe which has been of immense comfort.
"I know they will continue to keep us in their lives and that will help us to recover. They really were like a band of brothers since school and we are cherishing every moment of them being here with us. They have tried so hard to look after us, and us them. He was our darling boy and we quite simply cannot imagine our life without him.”
His family say Joey never stopped, and he shared his passionate love of football with his Dad.
"He played football all the way through from when he was a little boy - that was his downtime - his football and his mates.” Joe played for Kesgrave Kestrels for a number of years when young, moving into senior football with Woodbridge Town and going on to captain the first team, before moving to play for Debenham and more recently with Cranes.
He loved his Sunday league team Borussia Martlesham, playing regularly with friends. Quite often he cured his Sunday morning hangover after the game at The Bell pub in Kesgrave, his family say.
His friends have been trying to create a legacy for Joe, with charity matches planned to raise money for defibrillators to be available to some of the teams he has played for.
Friend Callum is also pushing to get them fitted in his Company’s various work vans which Joe’s family are taking great comfort in. Remembering her son's strong values, Jackie said “He was always true to himself and wasn’t afraid to speak out if he felt something wasn't right.”
His family said he would be "truly missed by everyone who had the absolute pleasure of knowing him". Arrangements are yet to be confirmed for Joey's funeral.