Tributes paid to doting young Sunderland dad who died aged just 20

Josh Hedley and his son Kaydin.
Josh Hedley and his son Kaydin.
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A family have paid tribute to a ‘brilliant dad’ after his sudden death.

Josh Hedley, 20, has left his friends and family devastated after he was found at his Witherwack home.

Josh Hedley and his baby son Cameron King.

Josh Hedley and his baby son Cameron King.

Today, his family have paid tribute to the young father, who put his career on hold to look after his son Kaydin, two, as the pair became inseparable.

The Sunderland AFC fan had recently become a dad again to Cameron King, five months.

The former Red House Junior School and Monkwearmouth Comprehensive student was also due to become an uncle for the first time in coming weeks, with his sister Hayley Dove, 28, expecting her own boy.

His parents Tracy, 45, and Paul, 50, along with Hayley, and brother Paul, 22, have thanked those who have offered their support as they come to terms with their tragic loss.

He was well liked, he liked a laugh and he was always the life of the party.

Speaking from the family’s Red House home, Tracy said: “He was a brilliant dad and for his age, he really took to it.

“With Kaydin, he took him everywhere he went. We all work full-time, but we made sure we saw them every day.

“If anyone saw Josh, they would see Kaydin there with him.He was very loving and he was kind.”

Hundreds of people turned out to pay their final respects to Josh at his funeral at Holy Trinity Church in Southwick, which was followed by a ceremony at Sunderland Crematorium.

Josh Hedley and his German Shepherd Sacha.

Josh Hedley and his German Shepherd Sacha.

His parents’ house was inundated with cards, including some from his former teachers.

“We’ve been overwhelmed,” added Tracy. “I thought Josh had about half a dozen friends, but there were hundreds.

“He would have been very proud of everybody that turned out, he would have loved it.

“The family has been given such a lot of support from his friends, and from our relatives as well.

Flowers left in memory of Josh at Sunderland Crematorium.

Flowers left in memory of Josh at Sunderland Crematorium.

“We really want to thank them.”

Dad Paul added: “He was well liked, he liked a laugh and he was always the life of the party.

“He was always smiling and was known as the class clown, but a lovable character.”

Neighbours of Josh left flowers on his doorstep after his death, while his family were stunned with the displays left at the crematorium in his honour, with the display helped by Ryan Butler and Charlotte Anderson and funeral celebrations supported by John Duckworth Funeral Directors.

More than £2,000 was raised to cover funeral costs thanks to donations through a Go Fund Me online appeal launched by friend James Kennedy, while his parents say they were also touched and comforted by the comments people left in tribute on the page.

Josh trained as a fabricator welder through Blue Square Training after leaving school and had dreams of an Army career, which sadly his asthmatic condition prevented him from realising.

Flowers left in memory of Josh at Sunderland Crematorium.

Flowers left in memory of Josh at Sunderland Crematorium.

In his spare time he enjoyed working and riding 125cc bikes with his dad and brother and hoped to get his full bike licence when he reached 21.

He also shared his dad’s love of expensive watches, with his collection to be passed on to his sons.

His family said Josh was devoted to his German shepherd dog Sacha, who was a 16th birthday present, and also enjoyed nights out at Passion nightclub.

He also left grandmother Anne Robins, and was the grandson of the late George, 59, and late Eddie Hedley, 67, and Edith Hedley, 64.

There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Josh’s death. A final inquest hearing is expected to be held on Monday, December 7.

Flowers left in memory of Josh at Sunderland Crematorium.

Flowers left in memory of Josh at Sunderland Crematorium.

NOP SUPPLIED          'Josh Hedley aged 20 of Red House - died recently.

NOP SUPPLIED 'Josh Hedley aged 20 of Red House - died recently.