Tributes to Jack Gatcliffe removed from railings outside Romford station
PUBLISHED: 08:51 05 September 2014 | UPDATED: 16:55 05 September 2014
Archant, used with permission from family
The family of a "big hearted" football fan have led tributes to him after he was hit by a train and killed.
But sadness turned to anger after flowers laid in tribute to “bubbly” Jack Gatcliffe, 24, were stripped from the railing outside Romford Station where he died on Saturday soon after 10am.
Jack’s sister, mum-of-three Kirstie Cartwright, said: “It is completely disrespectful. My whole family hasn’t even gone to see the flowers yet.
“My sons put a flower down for him and now it’s gone. What am I supposed to say to them when they want to go and see tributes left to their uncle?
“We have got so much to think about right now and this is the last thing we want to be concentrating on.”
It’s still unclear who removed the tributes only three days after Chelsea FC Jack, from Heath Park, Dagenham, was killed.
Leading tributes to her “amazing” brother, Kirstie said he was a “great friend” to many people, adding: “He was friendly and bubbly and had such a big heart. [He] would always joke around and play pranks.”
Mum Lou, 54, said Jack was a “perfect” son. “Words can’t say how I feel right now,” she said. “My precious son has gone too soon.”
Directing her words to her late son, she added: “I will love and miss you always. Shine bright as a star for me to see – you were a star on this earth.”
Concerns were raised on social media after Jack, a former Eastbrook pupil who had been living in Kent and worked as an account manager in a recruitment firm, went missing over the weekend while in Dagenham.
Tributes poured in following news of his death, with hundreds joining a Facebook group dedicated to his memory.
Others took to Twitter to express their sadness and pay their respects. Christian Steadman (@Steadyman89) wrote: “R.I.P Jack Gatcliffe, such a shame to lose someone so down to earth and had respect for everyone. Missed but will never be forgotten.”
David Knowles (@Dave_Knowles_) said: “Gutted to hear the news of the passing of Jack Gatcliffe. A fellow blue who I had the pleasure of playing footy with at Dagenham. RIP Bud.”
British Transport Police have said they are not treating his death as suspicious. An inquest will be carried out in due course.
A charity golf tournament will raise funds towards Jack’s funeral at Dagenham Central Park pitch and putt on Saturday from 11am to 6pm. Entry to the open tournament is expected to cost £15.
If you have been affected by this story, contact Samaritans on 01708 740000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.