Sunderland AFC shirt among tributes left near Herrington Country Park after man's body found

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a 31-year-old man who was found dead near Herrington Country Park.

Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 6:00 am

Police officers found the body of a man at a site off Chislehurst Road, in Penshaw, after reports of concerns were made to the force on Saturday morning (September 28).

Floral tributes have been left at the site with heartfelt messages from loved ones.

Sunderland Coroners Office has confirmed his identity as Ross Gawthorpe, 31. A spokesman for Sunderland Coroner’s Court confirmed an inquest would be opened in due course.

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Floral tributes left on Chislehurst Road, Penshaw

A Sunderland AFC shirt with the words ‘RIP Ross’ printed on the back was pinned to a fence in the area, along with a ticket for Saturday’s match against MK Dons at the Stadium of Light. Balloons have also been left as part of the tributes.

One message left among the flowers reads: “Honestly still can’t get my head around that you’re gone and I’m never going to see you again. If only you knew how much you were loved.”

“Officers attended and found the body of a man. His next of kin have been notified and a formal identification process was launched.

A Sunderland shirt left at the scene

“There is not believed to have been any third party involvement and a report has been made for the coroner.”

There was an outpouring of sympathy and support for the family on the Echo’s Facebook page.

Jen Rainey wrote: “So very sad deepest sympathy to your family you lovely lad RIP xxx.”Carole Ann Mitchell said: “So sad deepest sympathy to his family and friends x”Heather Kev Dobson said: “So sad R.I.P young man deepest condolences to his family and friends.”Emma Pyle said: “We passed Saturday morning was ambulance and loads of police didn’t know what had happened but it's so sad R.I.P young man thinking of your family at this heartbreaking time.”

Kim Prescott posted: “R.I.P sorry for your loss at this so sad time xx.”

Balloons have also been left by loved ones

Carol Gash said : “So sad. Thoughts are with family and friends. RIP.”