Belfast Telegraph

Shock as Derry X Factor hopeful found dead

By Brendan McDaid

A friend of a former X Factor contestant found dead in Londonderry has said he will be sorely missed by the city’s music fraternity.

Singer Geoff Wray, who was in his early 30s, was found at his home in Foyle Crescent in Newbuildings on Tuesday night.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious.

In 2007 the trained electrician impressed the judges on the hit TV show and made it through to the last 50 at boot camp.

The former Faughan Valley High School pupil performed his last three gigs locally at the weekend. Messages of condolence have flooded in on YouTube and Facebook tributes set up in his memory.

Gary Robb, a singer and friend of Geoff, said the news of his death had come as a big shock to local musicians.

He said: “He was probably the most talented musician I knew.

“I have known him eight years and I do not think I have ever seen him without a smile.

“He was always a happy-go-lucky fella. Every time you saw him you had a laugh.”

Geoff had played to a crowd of 400 at Derry’s Ice Wharf Bar on St Patrick’s Day.

He also performed at Bready Cricket Club later that evening.

Local DUP councillor Gary Middleton said there was a palpable sense of shock in the Newbuildings area and beyond.

“It is terribly sad,” Mr Middleton said.

“I saw him just days ago. He was always smiling, always full of life.”

The Wray family are well-known through out the Waterside area and Geoff’s parents ran the local post office in Newbuildings for years.

Geoff was 27 when he auditioned for X Factor and received a unanimous thumbs-up from judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Danni Minogue and Sharon Osbourne.

He made it through successive rounds, but was cut along with fellow Derry man Tony ‘Vegas’ McBride, from Creggan, during the selection of the final 12.

Hundreds of people left messages of support on Geoff’s Facebook profile yesterday.

A PSNI spokesman confirmed last night: “Police in Foyle received a report of a man's body found at a house at the Foyle Crescent area yesterday evening (Tuesday).

“A post-mortem has been carried out and police are not treating the death as suspicious.”

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