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Tributes to young Antrim farmer Ward Patterson after sudden death

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Ward Patterson died at the weekend

Ward Patterson died at the weekend

Ward Patterson died at the weekend

A book of condolence will be opened in Crumlin tonight after the sudden death of a young farmer from Co Antrim.

Ward Patterson (21) from Upper Ballinderry died on Sunday, causing shock in the local community.

A former student of Greenmount Agricultural College, he was also a popular member of Crumlin Young Farmers' Club.

The group have cancelled a meeting scheduled for tonight, with a book of condolence to be opened instead from 7pm at the Memorial Hall on Crumlin Main Street.

A message on the Crumlin YFC Facebook page said members were "deeply saddened by the sudden passing of much-loved club member".

A family notice said he was the dearly loved son of Edwin and Sharon, loved brother of Calvin and Louise as well as the grandson of Mairead.

His funeral will take place at noon tomorrow at Glenavy Methodist Church before proceeding to St Aidan's Parish Churchyard for burial.

Any donations, if desired, have been requested for the Aware NI charity and Crumlin YFC.

Other farming clubs added their own support after learning of the tragedy.

A message from Lylehill YFC said: "We are devastated to hear this heartbreaking news. Our most sincere thoughts and prayers are with the Patterson family, friends and the members of Crumlin YFC."

DUP councillor James Tinsley said: "It's just very tragic and heartbreaking for his family and friends. Anyone who is feeling down, there is plenty of help out there.

"So I would urge them to talk to someone even if it's a trusted friend or family member."

Heartbroken friends paid tribute on social media.

One called him the "most kind-hearted chap anyone could meet", while another thanked him for "teaching me how to jive".

Another said she was "absolutely in shock" and called him "one of life's wee gentleman" who was "always polite and friendly".

Adding to the tributes, one said: "Horrible news to come home to this afternoon. A true gentleman who never passed you by without asking the craic.

"Thinking of all your family and friends at this difficult time."

Sharing a picture, a close friend said: "It was your favourite photo and now it'll forever be my favourite memory, fly high Wardo I love you."

In an emotional post, one friend called on any young people who were struggling to seek help.

"To all his friends out there please, please if something is bothering you or annoying you please... talk to someone, anyone."

He added: "Sometimes it is much easier to talk to a stranger in confidence than to family or friends."

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, contact the Samaritans on 084 5790 9090, or Lifeline 080 8808 8000.

Online Editors