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‘It’s overwhelming how far Paddy’s influence reached’
THE mother of a 21-year-old man who died after falling from a bridge last night paid tribute to an “incredible sportsman who packed so much into his short life”.
Jacky and Paul Kellett said the death of their son Patrick, known as Paddy, had left a huge hole in their family.
Speaking to the Oxford Mail, Mrs Kellett of Mullein Road, Bicester, added: “He was the most incredible person who packed an awful lot into a short life. He touched people wherever he was.
“His death just left a huge Paddy-shaped hole in our family. We miss him desperately.”
Mr Kellett was found last Saturday morning in a stream near Little Bridge Road, Bloxham.
He was taken to Banbury’s Horton General Hospital, but later pronounced dead.
Mrs Kellett said he had been out in Banbury with friends the night before and was heading back to Bloxham village when he fell from the bridge into the stream.
Mr Kellett had recently trained as a tree surgeon and had been working in Brittany, France. He was due to return there to continue work and undertake more training.
The former Bloxham School pupil had also spent time in Kenya in 2011 and last year, working as a nanny for the children of a diplomatic family.
Mrs Kellett said there were people coming from all over the world including Australia and America to his funeral on Wednesday.
She added: “Everyone who met him loved him.
“It’s just overwhelming how far reaching Paddy’s influence was. He was an incredible sportsman.”
He played hockey for Banbury Hockey Club men’s first team, and the county men’s team, as well as rugby and cricket for Bloxham School.
When Mr Kellett returned from Kenya he worked at Marks & Spencer in Sheep Street, Bicester, for about a year until he started training to be a tree surgeon.
Mrs Kellett said her son, who had two brothers Will, 23, and Rory, 20, had always been interested in nature and trees and his godmother suggested it as a career.
She said: “He was such an outdoors sort of person so it really struck a chord.”
A statement from Bloxham School described Mr Kellett as “popular, fun-loving and caring individual” who excelled in sport. He joined the school at 13 and left in 2010 after completing his A-Levels.
It read: “Our thoughts and our prayers go out to Paddy’s family at this terrible time; to Paul and to Jacky his devoted parents, to his brothers Will and Rory, and to his wide circle of friends who have been so affected by this tragic event.
“It is at times like this that a community will come together and we are witnessing that now as Paddy’s friends learn of this tragedy and naturally gravitate to the place that brought them together, to their school.”
The school’s chaplain, Father Michael Price, has led prayers for Mr Kellett and his family.
A statement on Banbury Hockey Club’s website read: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Will and the rest of the family at this very sad time.”
- His funeral will take place at Bloxham Parish Church on Wednesday at 2pm.
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