‘We can’t believe our precious boy has gone’... mum tells of heartache after sudden death of Lisburn man (26)
The heartbroken mother of a Co Antrim father-of-one who died suddenly three days ago has said she will never forget her "gorgeous, precious boy".
Alison Fleming posted a series of photographs of her 26-year-old son Robbie, who passed away at his home on Tuesday, saying: "Our lives will never be the same."
The mum-of-three thanked everyone who offered their condolences to her grieving family, writing: "We are devastated and can not believe that our gorgeous precious boy has gone, our whole lives are destroyed."
Mrs Fleming also thanked a friend, Ronnie Beattie, for "a beautiful tribute" comprising various images of Robbie that he posted on Facebook "for a young gentleman took too soon".
Robbie's brother Jordan urged mourners to wear Liverpool tops at his funeral at Ronnie Thompson's Funeral Church in his native Lisburn at 3pm today, followed by committal at Roselawn Crematorium at 4pm.
"My brother Robbie had always said when he went he would love everyone to wear Liverpool tops at his funeral so if we could get as many as we could to do that would be much appreciated. RIP bro love you lots," Jordan wrote on Facebook.
News of the death prompted an outpouring of grief on social media for the "unbelievable dad" to son Jack, with friends stressing that "mental health needs to be taken seriously".
Paramount Pizza Lisburn, his employer since he was 17, said it will be closed for business today as "a mark of respect as we say our goodbyes to Robbie".
"It's hard to put into words what he meant to us," a post said.
"Any customers and friends of his will know he has an infectious personality and a confidence like no other.
"He was a loyal employee and a fantastic friend and he also became a big part of our family through the years. We will all miss him so much."
The Man Shack, a barber shop in Lisburn, said it was donating a signed Northern Ireland top for Robbie and described him as "one of our great customers, full of banter and full of life".
"He was a Lisburn legend as many will tell you," its message read.
"Every time he was in he brought his son with him. They sometimes sat for two hours playing Fifa and having competitions against one another.
"You could tell he was an unbelievable dad. Everyone knows Robbie's love was football, he played for local Lisburn teams, supported Liverpool and his wee country Northern Ireland.
"He often attended games and his last competitive Northern Ireland match was actually the away game in Switzerland where some of the staff also attended."
The Man Shack added: "Robbie you will be missed not by many but thousands."
Stacey McClements said his death was "devastating news".
She wrote: "One of the most down to earth guys I have ever met, mental health needs to be taken seriously, it tried to overrule my life 1 year ago and unfortunately the battle was too much for you, rest easy."
Everyone at Hillsborough Boys Junior Football Club offered their condolences "after hearing the extremely sad news of the untimely passing of Robbie Fleming".
They added: "Robbie was a close friend of some of those involved with the club and was a familiar face, bringing his son Jack along to our Tuesday skills session. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."
Daltons eatery in Lisburn said: "Our wee town has been left shattered by this loss. We can't emphasise enough that if you're feeling down please talk to somebody. There is always somebody out there who will help."
Robbie is survived by Alison, dad Vernon, Jordan and other brother Jamie, and son Jack.