Tributes continue to pour in for 18-year-old Charlie Hedge
BARNSTAPLE is still in shock following the death of teenager Charlie Hedge and a flood of tributes have continued to pour in for the former Park Community School pupil.
The entrance to the school is still a sea of flowers and messages in memory of the well-liked 18-year-old, whose body was found at a house in Portland Street on Monday afternoon of last week. Police said the death was not being treated as suspicious.
Thousands have left messages on Charlieâ€™s Facebook page, describing him as cheerful, fun and outgoing, as well as on a special tribute page entitled â€œRIP Charlie Hedge,â€ which more than 2,300 people have indicted their like for.
It describes him as â€œa legend who will always live on and will never be forgotten! Touching so many hearts, you will always be remembered and never forgottenâ€¦â€
Via the social networking site friends and well-wishers arranged to meet outside Park School at 12 noon on Wednesday, with upwards of 80 people turning out to place flowers and hold a silent vigil.
Headteacher David Atton described the scene as â€œamazingâ€ and said afterwards they asked if they could have an impromptu kick about on one of the all weather pitches in memory of keen footballer Charlie.
â€œI think from all that has been said Charlie was a young man who touched many lives and wherever he was he made it a better, happier and more fun place for people to be,â€ said Mr Atton.
â€œOn his last school report his tutor of the day wrote: Charlie works tirelessly for the good of others as a prefect and a charity representative.
â€œHe was always cheerful, friendly and had a good sense of humour. Wherever he was he had a very positive impact on the people around him.
â€œOur thoughts at this most difficult of times are with his family.â€
A school friend who had gone to visit the memorial told the Gazette: â€œHe made everybody laugh, he was the life and soul of the party.
â€œHe would do anything for anybody and he was really good at sports, he loved his football. He was well loved by everybody and he had a lot of mates.â€
Charlie was well known for donning fancy dress outfits for a night on the town in Barnstaple and a number of the tributes both online and at the school show him having a good time with friends on a night out.
On Facebook, Hannah Loder wrote: â€œThereâ€™s no words to describe how much everyone will miss you. It still doesnâ€™t seem real. I donâ€™t think you ever understood how many people love and care for you.â€
Tash Cooper said: â€œYou will be sorely missed by so many that loved you, you touched so many peopleâ€™s hearts Iâ€™m going to miss the smiling face around the high streets.â€
Karen Freeman, a mother of one of his friends, added: â€œYou clearly were well liked and will be missed and I hope youâ€™ve found peace. I feel so upset by this, as will all other parents reading this page, my sincere wishes go to all your family and friends. God speed.â€
Maggie Birchmore is secretary of Barnstaple Youth Football Club, that Charlie spent two seasons with when he was younger.
â€œAll the lads knew him,â€ she said. â€œHe was a lovely kid, he made everybody laugh and he was willing, he wanted to learn and play football.â€
The Coronerâ€™s Office in Barnstaple said an inquest had been opened and adjourned, the date for the hearing to be fixed at a later date.
North Devon Gazette Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.