Family and residents pay tribute to Harold Hill postman with 'heart of gold'
PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 July 2019
Harold Hill residents are paying tribute to a beloved postman who died after injuring himself while playing football.
People are displaying red ribbons all over the Briar Road estate in memory of Craig Thomas.
Craig was playing football on his birthday on May 26 when he injured his knee and severed his ligament.
The 46-year-old had a wire cable fitted and was taking medication to thin his blood.
However he developed a blood clot which travelled to his heart and he died on June 30.
Craig's dad, Arthur Thomas, told the Recorder: "Craig was a wonderful chap.
"He started delivering post when he was 16.
"He loved it and he would always stop to have a chat.
"One woman said that when she told [Craig] she was ill, he knocked every day to ask how she was."
Craig worked as a postman for 31 years and was particularly known by residents in the Briar Road estate area.
"I'd like to thank everyone for their messages of condolences and also the many sympathy cards that we have received," said Arthur.
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"I'm overwhelmed by the number of people that have reached out.
"I'm really proud to be his dad."
The postman's older brother Mark, added that Craig was a "really talented football player" and a Spurs fan.
"I was five years older than Craig and when he was old enough to play he ran rings around me and my mates," said Mark.
"He was semi-pro as he played for Romford, Dagenham and Redbridge.
"Everyone loved him. It's really hit the community."
Chris Taylor from Iris Path in Harold Hill said: "I first met Craig five years ago when me and my partner moved into our house.
"I had to open the door dressed as Elvis Presley because I was having some photos done for a show.
"Since then a friendship formed. Craig had a heart of gold and a personality that would melt anyone's heart.
"I will miss him dearly."
Craig's funeral will take place at the Essex Crematorium in Ockendon Road, Upminster on Friday, July 19 at 3.20pm.
The funeral procession will start at 2.15pm from Myrtle Road.