Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to Thai roof fall victim: He was one of the nicest people on the planet

BY CLAIRE WILLIAMSON

A Northern Ireland student who fell to his death from a roof in Thailand has been described as "one of the nicest people to walk the planet".

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to Stephen Clifford after the 21-year-old died in an accident while on holiday in the city of Chiang Mai.

Stephen's family and the wider community of Carryduff have been left in shock after hearing of the tragedy.

The fatal incident occurred on Sunday after Mr Clifford fell through the roof of the closed Kad Suan Kaew shopping mall.

Thai media claimed the roof over the electricity room could not hold his weight and he appeared to have fallen through it and died after falling into electrical generator machinery.

It is thought the student was on the final leg of a round-the-world trip which had already taken him to New York and Costa Rica.

It is understood his father Rory has made the onerous trip to Thailand to retrieve his son's remains. Emotional tributes have been pouring in to his Facebook page, with friends and family taking to the site to pay their respects.

Stephen's cousin Caoimhe wrote: "He had waited so long to finally get out there and see the world – he was loving life. It is so heartening to see the wonderful things people are saying about him.

"My lasting memories of Stephen will be of a young man, ambitious, loving, happy, open and gentle, always laughing and always making people happy in his presence."

One friend posted: "Safe to say Steve was without a doubt one of the nicest people to walk this planet. Not one bad word have I ever heard spoken about him. RIP Steve, you were a legend amongst us all."

Another wrote: "You were an amazing person and a great friend. Always laughing and making others smile. Can't believe you are gone."

The posts detail the shock and disbelief at the student's sudden death, with one saying: "So unbelievably shocked and saddened that we have lost an absolute gentleman."

Belfast Metropolitan College, where Stephen was a student, paid its respects to Mr Clifford and his family in a statement.

It said: "We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends – our thoughts are with them at this difficult time."

BACKGROUND

Stephen Timothy Clifford (21), from Carryduff, was on a round-the-world trip when he died.

The Belfast Metropolitan College student had been in Thailand since the end of May after his travels took him to Costa Rica and the US. The young man died after falling through the roof of a shopping centre in the city of Chiang Mai on Sunday.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph