Tributes to BGT’s Jack Saunders as family plan epic memorial
Tributes have been paid to Britain's Got Talent semi-finalist Jack Saunders as his family announce a memorial to celebrate his life.
The 25-year-old was set to appear in the upcoming ITV talent show as part of the five-man dance troupe Green Force Five after wowing judges, including Simon Cowell .
However, he tragically died by suicide in the early hours of Sunday morning leaving his family and staff on the show devastated.
Hundreds are expected to attend a memorial event in Stratford, east London, on Sunday, where mourners will release 25 biodegradable balloons in his memory and for each year of his life.
Those who knew Jack and worked with him during his career took to social media to share their condolences.
Dancer and choreographer Rayna Smith wrote about how she watched Jack dance and was amazed by his talents: "I then had the honour of dancing alongside him. To dance alongside a legend, humble and hilarious guy – an absolute honour. Gone too soon man, RIP Jack Saunders."
Fellow dancer Jake Stephens wrote: "Jack Saunders No words man. RIP BRO."
A fan of Jack's work said on Twitter : "Honestly keep your family and friends close and always check up on them. So shocked about the news today RIP Jack Saunders one of the most talented young men. Keep on dancing."
Many more took to the dancer's Instagram page, posting their condolences in the comments of a tribute posted on his announcing his passing.
"This day when everyone was looking at us like we were Superman and Batman teaming up for the first time. You went and merked the battle with 1 hand (slyly thankful we teamed up so you didn’t have to smoke me) Tray my brother, keep dancing with the angels above.
"You are the strongest guy I’ve ever known, a huge inspiration and motivation. No one had a fight like you did. You’ll be forever remembered and forever in my heart brother. Now you can rest in peace and pull up a seat amongst the greats that have left us. Rest easy my brother."
Speaking from the family home in Uxbridge, west London, Jack’s mum Sandra, 53, paid a moving tribute to Jack, who has also appeared on Sky1 show Got To Dance and ITV show X Factor .
She said: “We don’t know why he did it, he didn’t leave a note. He did not have depression.
"He went to the GP before Christmas because he was feeling tired and they never spotted any problems.
“Suicide can happen to anyone at any time. People can’t believe Jack is gone. We are the same.
"I want people to know that this can happen to any family. There is no stereotype – it doesn’t have to be a manic depressive who has shown signs of mental health problems.
“Jack was a kind soul. He worried about everyone else – always focused on others to make sure they were OK. He was the shoulder you cried on.
"It’s just shocked everyone because to other people Jack had it all. Jack achieved more than many people could dream of achieving. He knew we loved him.”
His devastated girlfriend Frankie Hurst has also penned a poignant message to the Britain's Got Talent star.
Sharing today's Daily Mirror page, which leads on Jack's tragic death, Frankie wrote: "As much as this truly breaks my heart, there is such an important message within this article. The signs are not always obvious and so we have have to talk about this and encourage men especially to speak up.
"THIS HAS TO STOP. LETS TALK ABOUT IT. #flyhigh #sexybeast #MrAndMrsSexyBeast."
Frankie, who referred to her love as 'sexy beast', also found the strength to lead a special dance class dedicated to Jack this week, and thanked their fellow dancers for coming out to show their love for him.
The proceeds from the Studio 68 class in east London went to mental health charity Calm with Jack's family's blessing.
The memorial event on Sunday will also raise money for charity CALM.
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.
If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.
Campaign Against Living Miserably offers practical advice on young men's problems and support when they suffer from depression. Visit www.thecalmzone.net
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