Tributes to tragic teenager

DEVASTATED parents have paid tribute to a 19-year-old Ipswich man who died after falling from the Orwell Bridge.Daniel Long's body was found on February 12 after he was reported missing the previous day.

DEVASTATED parents have paid tribute to a 19-year-old Ipswich man who died after falling from the Orwell Bridge.

Daniel Long's body was found on February 12 after he was reported missing the previous day.

Last night, his parents, Stephen Long and Sue Ayre, spoke of their shock at the death of the popular teenager.

Daniel, who suffered from a genetic disorder, had been due to be best man at his father's wedding in June.


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Mr Long, who lives in Ipswich, said: “He was looking forward to that and he was thinking about what he was going to say in his speech.

“I chose him because of his personality and because he was my best mate.

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“He was a very gregarious and extroverted person who had a wide circle of friends, both young and old. He was very sociable and outgoing and loved life to the full.”

Mrs Ayre said: “He could walk into a room full of strangers and talk to them straight away.

“He would always help anybody who asked. He was just a bubbly personality and everybody liked him. Everybody said he was a good lad. He always had a cheeky smile.”

Daniel's movements leading up to his death remain a mystery and are currently being investigated by the coroner.

His family, including his brother Gary, 17, and sister, Olivia, five, are still trying to come to terms with their loss.

Mrs Ayre said: “We're just totally shocked at the moment. Part of me has died and it's something I'll never get over.”

Mr Long said his family has been grateful for the support they have received in the days since his death.

He said: “We would like to thank the coastguard, the doctors who treated Daniel and obviously everyone who took part in the search for him. The police have been excellent too.”

After attending Hadleigh Community Primary School and Holywells High School, in Ipswich, Daniel went on to complete an NVQ in Engineering at Suffolk College.

He had hoped to forge a career as a welder and had a keen interest in cars, particularly Minis.

He also enjoyed travelling and had been on various family holidays to places including Tenerife, France and America.

Mr Long said: “He used to enjoy travelling and loved being outside. That was a big thing of his.

“He kept saying that he wanted to go to places. He talked about seeing his cousin in France. He had ambitions.”

At the age of seven Daniel was diagnosed with a genetic disorder called Gauchers Disease, for which he received treatment throughout his life. He underwent enzyme replacement therapy for his condition, which enabled him to live a normal life.

Mr Long said: “We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who treated Daniel, including professor Timothy Cox, of Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge.”

n Daniel's family have asked that anyone wishing to pay respects to him do not to send flowers but to make a donation to the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Fund, via the Co-op Funeral Service, who can be contacted on 01473 257242.

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