Tributes paid to ‘gentle giant’

Darren Taylor who took his own life
Darren Taylor who took his own life

THE heartbroken family of a Wigan man found hanged by a canal have paid tribute to their “gentle giant” who “would do anything for anybody”.

Darren Taylor’s mother Elaine, father Geoff and sister Michelle paid a glowing tribute after the 31-year-old was found hanged near Lock 83, of the town centre stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Elaine, 55, of Scholes, described her son – a father-of-two – as “big and daft” but told how “deep down he had a heart of gold”.

She said: “Darren was a popular lad who always lived life to the full and made everybody laugh.

“He was a lovable big softie. He loved listening to music – he never bothered the neighbours – and enjoyed going fishing and playing golf, snooker and darts.

“He would never walk past anybody – he would always stop and chat to them – and doted on his grandmother, who he would do anything for. He fancied his hand at DIY too but in Darren’s case it was always Do It With Help!

“Darren would have been 32 on Tuesday. It’s so sad. He didn’t really have anything when he was growing up but now, as soon as he had it all, he’s gone.”

Darren, a former St Patrick’s Primary and St John Fisher High pupil, went straight into work after leaving school and, most recently, worked at Heinz as a forklift truck driver.

He had only moved in to live with his father, Geoff, on Brookhouse Street in February, and leaves behind two daughters, Amy Jane, seven, and Kaitlyn Marie, three.

Darren’s family also recalled how, at the age of three, he had suddenly decided he wanted to be a milkman and jumped onto an unmanned float, pressed the accelerator and promptly crashed into two Reliant Robins!

Elaine added: “We’ve been overwhelmed with the support we’ve had from friends and family since Darren died. We’ve received about 300 cards and donations towards his funeral and some of his friends have even created a floral tribute next to the canal.

“There are so many people to thank – God bless you all.”

Darren’s funeral is set to take place at St Patrick’s Church in Scholes, at 10.30am tomorrow.

An inquest into the underlying cause of Darren’s death has been opened and adjourned.