Appeal for tragic Sunderland dad Jay McLaren raises almost Â£2,000
An appeal to help the family of Sunderland dad Jay McLaren has raised almost Â£2,000 - just days after his tragic death.
Jay, 28, from Hadleigh Road, Sunderland, was found dead at a recycling centre in Houghton on Christmas Eve.
Police believe he may have got into a bin after a night out in the city centre.
Just days after Jay's death, a page was set up on the website GoFundMe to raise funds for his family.
Over £1,700 has been raised so far for the popular footballer, who played for the King's Arms team in the Sunderland Sunday League.
He had been reported missing by his family last Saturday after failing to return home after a night out with team-mates in Sunderland.
Team-mate Paul Tunstall, who set up the page, wrote: "Jay McLaren, one of the most passionate, selfless and kind-hearted young men that many of us have ever known, the captain and joker of our football club, was suddenly and tragically taken from all of us in early hours of 23rd December 2017 in Sunderland.
"Jay’s vibrant character in life was infectious, he touched so many and we are completely heartbroken.
"He was out with his football team mates on Friday night in his typical jovial mood and he had recently spoken to his fiancé on the phone, saying it was a good night out and he was looking forward to Christmas Day.
"However, he never made it home.
"He was only 28-years-old. He leaves behind his fiancé, his mum, siblings, family and a multitude of friends, but most heartbreaking is that he leaves behind his two-year-old daughter.
"We want to ease the financial burden that comes with losing someone so suddenly.
"We have to say goodbye and are hoping to raise funds to go towards the cost of his funeral.
"This memorial fund will hopefully help to take care of this and perhaps help establish a small nest egg for his daughter's future. Any donation, no matter how small is greatly appreciated.
"Although broken, we thank you with all of our hearts. We miss you Jay, from all your team mates at Kings Arms FC.
To donate, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/jaymclarenPolice have ruled out any third party involvement in Jay's death but are still appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "While it is believed there was no third party involvement, police are seeking information from the public to help trace Jay’s last movements.
"The last confirmed sighting of Jay is at 4.15am hours on Saturday, December 23, outside Arizona and Purple bar.
"From here, he is understood to have been taken to the recycling plant after entering a bin that was later collected in the early hours of Saturday."
Anyone who believes they may have seen or spoken to Jay in the early hours of Saturday should contact police on 101 quoting 1205 231217.