The parents of 20-year-old Ed Farmer, who died following a night out with university friends, have paid an emotional tribute to a young man who had ‘a great sense of humour and a big smile’.
Jeremy and Helen Farmer, who are both 52, and their older son William (22) are facing a Christmas without Ed.
He passed away after it was believed he lost consciousness following a night of heavy drinking with fellow students in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Jeremy said: “It doesn’t make it any easier for us but he was doing what he enjoyed, socialising with his friends.
“Losing him at any time would be a tragedy, not just at Christmas.”
Mum Helen: “We’ve had so many cards and letters. Some from people we hardly know.
“It’s been heart-warming.”
Ed was studying economics and clearly had a bright future ahead of him.
He was also incredibly popular and made friends easily.
Jeremy said: “His endearing quality was his wit. He had a great sense of humour and a big smile.
“Ed had this enviable ability of being able to take the Mickey out of someone without offending them.”
Born in Leicester, Ed went to school in Tugby and Stoney Stanton before spending five years as a day student at Oakham School.
He played rugby, cricket and chess while at Oakham and was also a regular cricketer for his local Tilton and Lowesby club.
Ed supported Leicester Tigers RFC, he loved watching sport and was also a keen pheasant shooter.
He worked part-time at the Halstead House wedding venue, waiting and on the bar.
Ed helped with the harvest on his parents’ arable farm.
He only turned 20 in October and this was his first term at university.
Jeremy added: “I’m sure his friends are gutted we’ve lost Ed. He was like a twin brother to me.”
Professor John Wilson, director of Newcastle University’s business school, said: “Whilst he was just starting out on his studies and only with us for a short period of time, Ed showed great academic promise and was well liked amongst his fellow students.”
The university, which said it was ‘deeply saddened’ by Ed’s death, said it would not speculate on how it happened until an inquest is heard.
Ed’s funeral service will be at Oakham School chapel on January 6.