10:00am Wednesday 2nd October 2013
By Hayley Mortimer
THE family of Nick Bonnie, who died at the weekend after collapsing in a nightclub, have paid tribute to their much-loved and hugely popular son.
Nick, 30, died in the early hours of Saturday after collapsing in the Warehouse Project in Manchester – one of the city’s biggest nightclubs - while on a ‘lads weekend’.
It is believed he died after taking an illegal substance.
Four of his friends were also taken to hospital but have now recovered.
Nick, who grew up in King's Stanley and was extremely well-known in the Stroud area, lived in Bristol with his girlfriend Leah Wilkins.
A former Marling School pupil, Nick went on to study public relations at the University of St Mark and St John in Plymouth before getting a job with the Prince's Trust.
His parents Pauline and Andy, from Ryeford, have been inundated with cards and kind messages while hundreds of moving tributes have been posted on Nick's Facebook page.
Many friends recall how Nick’s infectious personality, constant smile and unwavering enthusiasm for life has left an indelible mark.
Andy Bonnie said: "This tragedy has happened to the nicest lad you could ever meet.
"He was not a drug user, we definitely know that. We know our children.
"Nick had a massive circle of friends who are so hurt by this but they are helping us get through this."
Nick's mother Pauline, who works for The Nelson Trust rehabilitation centre in Brimscombe, said: “This has devastated the lives of us, his parents, his two brothers Thomas and Ryan, and his beautiful and devoted girlfriend Leah.
"Nick loved life, lived it to the max and this one stupid mistake has cost him his life.
"Nick was known by many as having a big heart, big personality and the most infectious smile in Stroud.
"He lost his life tragically, senselessly and needlessly in a nightclub in Manchester on a lads weekend."
Mrs Bonnie said she hoped others would learn from the tragedy.
"We hope we may have gone some way in helping in the realisation that drinking and use of any illicit drugs are a killer with consequences that will devastate lives forever,” she said.
"Our life will never be the same without Nick and he will never be forgotten."
A Liverpool supporter and keen sportsman, Nick had only last week completed the Tough Mudder challenge for Help the Heroes in Wales.
He played for youth football teams in King’s and Leonard Stanley and when he was older he played for Brimscombe and Thrupp and Cashes Green.
Nick had worked for the Prince's Trust for eight years and during that time met Prince Charles on several occasions, attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace and took part in many fundraising events for the charity.
A trust spokesman said: "We are deeply saddened to hear this news. Nick was a talented and valued colleague and he will be missed."
Hundreds of heartfelt tributes have been posted on Facebook.
Friend Richard Hall said he was the 'most sincere, honest and caring person'.
“You were a great friend with such a positive outlook on life," he said.
“You leave us all with amazing memories that we will cherish for a very long time.”
Martyn King added: “Words cannot describe the depth of pain and devastation your passing has caused.
“Your infectious personality, energy and enthusiasm for life graced so many people leaving an indelible mark on us all."
Nick died at 4.30am at Manchester Royal Infirmary on Saturday.
Greater Manchester Police are examining a powdered substance handed over by Nick’s friends.
They believe the substance may have come from a ‘bad batch’.
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