A “fit as a fiddle” rugby player collapsed and died during a night out in Birmingham’s Broad Street.
Thomas Ulliott, aged 28, of Dordon Close, Shirley, collapsed at the Walkabout bar while out with colleagues from a local sports centre.
His father, Gary, aged 53, said: “He used to go out with his workmates every couple of months and had been drinking, but not heavily because he was meant to be in work the following day. He just dropped dead at the end of the evening.
“It was such a shock – he was as fit as a fiddle. I don’t think the brutal reality has hit us yet. Lots of people have been around to see us and it’s nice to see them and talk about him. We’ve also had lots and lots of cards with nice things in – they all help.”
Thomas, who had severe dyslexia, had one brother, 20-year-old Stephen, and two sisters, 23-year-old Jennifer and 26-year-old Katherine. He lived at home with his father and 53-year-old housewife mother, Jacky.
“We were told not to expect much of him academically because of his dyslexia, but ironically he was an avid reader,” added Mr Ulliott.
Thomas coached under-17s for Camp Hill Rugby Club and also refereed games for the Haslucks Green Road side. He played in the same Camp Hill rugby team with his father for seven years, until an injury two years ago ended his father’s playing days.
“Sport – rugby and cricket in particular – was his love,” said Mr Ulliott. “He was generally just a happy person, nice to be with and very sociable.’’
An inquest has been opened and adjourned. Mr Ulliot’s funeral was held on Friday at the Robin Hood Crematorium, in Streetsbrook Road, Shirley.