A Belfast father-of-four who passed away suddenly on Monday has been hailed as a “genuinely nice guy who would have done anything for you.”
Tributes have poured in for 36-year-old Thomas Gordon, a popular member of Pride of Ardoyne flute band.
The Glencairn man, who was employed as a security guard, is understood to have suffered a cardiac arrest.
His grieving brother-in-law William Coggles told the News Letter he would be “sorely missed” by all those who knew him.
Mr Coggles, who is also a bandsman with Pride of Ardoyne, said: “Thomas was a really hard working, genuinely nice guy.
“He was always friendly and would have done anything for you.
“He was just a really great bloke and was well-liked, as you can see from the many messages of condolence that we have received.
“We are all shocked and devastated by what has happened.”
Taking to social media to express their “deep shock” at Thomas’s death, the Pride of Ardoyne posed on Facebook: “This is another tragedy that will be felt again unfortunately throughout the ranks of our band.
“Thomas was devoted to his family and children, always going that extra bit to provide even just for the simple things.
“Our thoughts are with his family at this time and he will be remembered forever by the members and officers of the Pride of Ardoyne.”
“When we walk, you walk.”
Oldpark Councillor Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston also offered her condolences to Thomas’s loved ones, posting:”Sad news. Thinking of Thomas’s nearest and dearest.”
Hundreds of others paid warm tribute to Thomas, with one Facebook user stating: “I still can’t believe it... true gentleman.”
Another wrote: “So sad and such a shock. He would never have passed without speaking.”
A number of other flute bands also extended their sympathies to the family, including Pride of Lagan Valley and Blantyre Young Loyalists, based in Glasgow.
A private service of thanksgiving for Thomas’s life will take place at his sister’s house at Forthriver Link at 3.15pm on Tuesday, December 4 followed by committal at Roselawn Crematorium.