TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular and talented young man who died suddenly.
Steven Perrin, 20, from Grays, felt ill at work and was sent home. He was then taken to Basildon Hospital where he was diagnosed with meningitis.
Despite staff working tirelessly to save him, he passed away.
More than 500 people attended Steven’s funeral at Upminster Crematorium where family and friends formed a guard of honour.
Dozens of heartfelt tributes have since been posted on Facebook.
One of his best friends, Callum Smith, posted a picture of himself and Steven when they were younger and said: “Never to be forgotten my best mate!”
Mason Nicholls, another of Steven’s best friends, said after his funeral: “Was an absolutely amazing send off for Steve Perrin today.
“The turn out was unreal. Was so special to see so many people. You will be missed by many and I was so lucky to have you as a best friend. I was obviously the lucky one!!! You will be missed by me immensely. You were like a brother to me, love you Steve.”
Steven was a hugely popular member of the Thurrock community.
He was born in Hornchurch and moved to Grays when he was six-years-old.
He went to William Edwards secondary school, Stifford Clays, before working as a chef, waiter, night porter and barman at Orsett Hall.
He recently started full-time work at London Gateway, the new superport in Stanford-le-Hope, as an operator.
Steven was also a talented goalkeeper who had played a huge part as his Sunday league football side, Sparks, getting to the top of the Thurrock Association Division Three.
Last Sunday, the team turned out and managed to win their league cup quarter-final 2-1 against Linford and his team mates dedicated the win to him.
More than 100 people watched the game at Blackshots Playing field.
Matt Rhodes, one of Steve’s team mates at Sparks, who had known him from a young age through football, said: “He was a great lad in the dressing room and the boys loved him.
“He was the best keeper we ever had. He was a real gentleman and a credit to his family.”
Orsett Hall also used Facebook to pay tribute to their former employee.
A spokesperson said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Steven Perrin. A very special young man who will be greatly missed by all who knew him including us all here at Orsett Hall.”
Steven passed away at 1.47am on Monday, January 6.