Kind-hearted pals are raising money to help with funeral costs for a much-loved Wearside dad who has died suddenly.
The Echo reported yesterday how popular Jamie Crighton, 25, collapsed and died while waiting for his food to be served at a city centre takeaway.
Despite the best efforts of door staff at nearby Illusions nightclub, who ran to the scene when hearing the cries of the staff at the takeaway, Jamie, from Southwick, didn’t survive.
The dad-of-one, known to many as “The Gentle Giant” had struggled for six years with severe mental health problems and had tried to commit suicide at least 15 times, including once plunging a 10in knife into his stomach.
But friends of Jamie, who was dad to Ellie, five, are now rallying round his grief-stricken family, with about £2,000 already raised to help with funeral costs.
Workers and customers at The Wheatsheaf pub, in Monkwearmouth, where 6ft 9in Jamie was a regular visitor, are holding a collection fund to support his loved ones.
Charlotte Richardson, who works at the venue, said: “Jamie used to come in quite often for a pint and he was such a lovely lad.
“What’s happened has come as a big shock to us all and we really feel for his family.
“He’ll be such a massive miss to them and us.”
To help out Jamie’s family financially, the pub is putting on a collection until the beginning of next week, hoping that the total will be boosted due to Sunderland playing a home game at the nearby Stadium of Light on Saturday against Hull City.
“We want to help the family in whichever way we can really,” added Charlotte.
“We’ll keep the collection box going until Monday so we should get a few more pounds in as we’re quite busy on Sundays as well as match days.
“What’s happened is so sad especially when Jamie was so young.”
Jamie’s dad Arthur has passed on his gratitude to the scores of people who have paid tribute to his son since his untimely death.
“The messages I’ve seen so far are absolutely tremendous,” said Arthur, 54.
“I can’t thank people enough for what they’ve said and what they’re doing in memory of my boy.
“He was a party animal who lived life to the full and now we want to give him a fitting send-off.”
Jamie also leaves behind mum Tania, 45, sister Hayley, 22, and three-year-old nephew Leo.
Friends are invited to wear red and white at the SAFC fan’s funeral service at Sunderland Crematorium on Tuesday, November 29, beginning at 1.30pm.