Tributes paid to Sunderland graduate Lee Pollard ahead of funeral

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A Sunderland University graduate will be laid to rest on Thursday after losing his life in a car crash, alongside his best friend.

Lee Pollard, 23, died on November 19 following a collision on the A196 between Paddock Hall Farm and North Farm, Northumberland. His best friend Gary Hedley also died in the accident.

Lee’s brother Mark, 17, has spoken of his family’s devastation at the 23-year-old’s death – but said his brother lived a full life.

“In 23 years he lived a life that anyone would be proud of,” Mark said

“He was so inspirational, and lots of people have been inspired by him to do new things.”

Lee graduated from Sunderland University with a media degree earlier this year and built up his journalism experience working with community website Sunderland Now.

He grew to love the city, Mark said, and was living there with friends at the time of his death.

He also loved travelling, had worked in Switzerland and had completed a course on teaching English as a foreign language.

Mark continued: “He loved asking questions from when he was young, and loved finding out new information.

“He is now being recognised as a journalist and I think that is what Lee would have wanted.”

Lee’s funeral will take place on Thursday at St James’ Church, Morpeth, at 10.30am.

This will be followed by a burial at Fairmoor Cemetery, Morpeth, and a wake at The Riverside Lodge.

Donations can be made in Lee’s memory to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Family flowers only are requested.