MAN who died in the back of a taxi from Cookstown earlier this month has been described as a “real gentleman and a loyal friend”.
Simon Wylie was buried in the New Cemetry, Banbridge, following a service in Holy Trinity Church last Thursday. The 37-year-old fell asleep in the back of a taxi on his way home from a work night out in Cookstown.
Mr Wylie, who hailed from Chinauley Park in Banbridge but had moved to Portadown with his partner Carol Jackson, never woke up despite attempts by the friend he was travelling with and the taxi driver.
His childhood friend David Topping has since paid tribute to someone he said was like a brother to him. David chose Simon as his groomsman when he was married last July.
Following Simon’s funeral, David told the Leader, “He was my best friend since we were teenagers, he was the most loyal friend I ever had.
“He was like part of my family and I was welcomed as a member of his. He would’ve done anything for anyone and was so good-natured.”
Reverend Greenstreet described Simon as a “lovable rogue” as crowds gathered for his funeral last week. David, who said he will cherish the memories and photographs of Simon from his wedding, added that the Wylie family are still in a state of shock.
“They had all their Christmas plans and were looking forward to spending time together and now Simon is gone. Everyone is still in shock. None of us can believe he is gone.”
Simon, who previously worked in England and Spain, was a past pupil of Banbridge High School and David said he had messages from as far afield as Australia expressing shock at his death.
“He was known and loved by so many people and I think the shock will be felt for a long time.” Both men were members of McGrath’s pool team.
Simon is survived by his partner Carol, mother Kate, father Noel, brothers Nicky and William and sisters Samantha and Rachel.