The TRAGIC death of a young father from Golden Post in Hereford has stunned the South Wye community.
Tributes have flooded in for Craig Hurcombe, 34, who is believed to have died in his sleep last Thursday, leaving behind a loving fiancé, Reda Butkute, and young daughter, Jessica.
“He lived life to the full,” said Mr Hurcombe’s father, Graham.
“I want to say how very proud we are, and how much we loved him.
“We are going to miss him deeply and dearly.”
Friends have been quick to celebrate the “energy and enthusiasm” and “infectious smile” by which he will be remembered.
Messages of support have come in from as far as Australia; and Mr Hurcombe’s father thanked all those friends who have helped the family through this sad time.
“He was the most thoughtful person I have ever met and will be a loss to all that had the fortune to meet and call Craig a friend," said James Ryan, a close friend since the pair attended Whitecross High School together.
“He had the biggest and most infectious smile of anyone I have met; Craig’s energy and enthusiasm is what I remember most.
“I look back and realise how many of the most defining moments of my teenage year were spend with Craig.
“Since I found out about the tragic news last week I have been reminiscing with our friends and we all have our own stories and memories of Craig, but they are all filled with love and laughter.”
An avid Liverpool Football Club fan, and passionate footballer, Mr Hurcombe would regularly travel to support his team with the Hereford Liverpool Supporters Club.
In recognition, the family hope to send him out in a sea of red, asking those attending Monday’s ceremony to wear red tops; if possible, a Liverpool shirt.
Mr Ryan said: “Craig not only loved Liverpool but loved playing football.
“Three weeks ago he scored the best goal of his life in a six-a-side game and didn’t stop taking about it for a weeks.”
Over 15 years, Mr Hurcombe had carved out a successful career at Rotherwas-based TRP Sealing Systems Ltd, rising to the role of team leader.
Nigel Garrett, of TRP, said: “He did a great job for us for many years.”
The ceremony will be held at Hereford Crematorium on Westfaling Street at 9am.
Afterwards, The Richmond Club will be open from 9.30 onwards, with the family inviting people to join them in remembering Mr Hurcombe, over light refreshments and his favourite biscuits; jammy dodgers and jaffa cakes.
He is survived by his mother and father, Graham and Wendy, sister Michelle, as well as his fiancé of two years Ms Butkute, and 19-month-old daughter Jessica.