Father's tribute to football-loving son who died aged 24

Zach Bygrave, who died at the age of 24

Zach Bygrave, who died at the age of 24 - Credit: Kim Bygrave

A grieving father has paid tribute to his football-loving son, who died unexpectedly just before Christmas at the age of just 24.

Zach Bygrave, of Sunny Close in Costessey, went to bed on Tuesday, December 22 and did not wake up.

His death remains a mystery to his loving family, but it sent shockwaves through their lives and the community around them.

Now, his father, Kim Bygrave, has paid loving tribute to the former Costessey High School pupil, describing him as "somebody who would always put others first".

Zach Bygrave, pictured when he was a school child

Zach Bygrave, pictured when he was a school child - Credit: Kim Bygrave

Mr Bygrave, who worked alongside his son at Flower Vision in Bowthorpe, said: "As a young man he was as funny, caring and generous as you could be. He would always worry about other people instead of himself.

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"His life was built around two things: football and family. They always came first."

Zach, who lived with type one diabetes, was an avid supporter of Arsenal and played for Easton FC's second string.

Zach Bygrave, pictured playing for Easton FC

Zach Bygrave, pictured playing for Easton FC - Credit: Kim Bygrave

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Since his death, members of the football club and other friends have raised more than £7,000 for his family through a Go Fund Me page in his memory.

Mr Bygrave said: "My wife described the response we've had as being a blanket of love and that is what it has felt like.

"It was more than we ever could have expected or asked for, which just shows how much he meant to people. 

"The days since we lost him have been some of the darkest we have known as a family but the love we have received has been amazing."

24-year-old Zach Bygrave

24-year-old Zach Bygrave - Credit: Kim Bygrave

Zach grew up in Bawburgh, attending Bawburgh Primary School and St Michael's Junior School in Bowthorpe. He was also a keen Scout and Cub.

Mr Bygrave added: "Reading some of the comments just brought tears to my eyes, the kindness we have received as a family is just unbelievable.

"Zach was such a caring person and would always go out of his way to help others. He will be sorely missed."

He was the second of four children, 41-year-old Jamie, 23-year-old Oliver and 14-year-old Millie.

The Go Fund Me page in his memory has raised more than £7,300.

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