Chelmsford City lead tributes to ex-player and Love Island star Mike Thalassitis
PUBLISHED: 08:50 17 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:56 17 March 2019
Tributes are pouring in to Love Island contestant and Essex football player Mike Thalassitis, who has died aged 26.
The reality television star and semi-professional footballer died on Friday, near his Essex home, his management confirmed.
Tributes from celebrities and friends have been flooding social media, led by one of his old clubs.
Chelmsford City expressed their sadness at the news, tweeting: “The Club are saddened to hear the news of the passing of former Clarets striker Mike Thalassitis. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends at this time. #ClaretTogether.”
Clarets head coach, Nick Haycock also sent a message of support to Thalassitis’ family.
“On behalf of all the management team just wanted to say how devastated we are to here of the passing of Thalla,” he tweeted.
“In the time we knew him Thalla was a credit to his family. Top lad and will be missed by all who knew him. Taken far too young. RIP Thalla we won’t forget you pal.”
Thalassitis, a Cypriot, was born in Edmonton in London and played for clubs including Chelmsford and Stevenage.
He found fame on the 2017 series of the ITV competitive dating show, Love Island. Thalassitis also appeared on the reality show Celebs Go Dating in 2018.
Chris Hughes, who also appeared on Love Island was among those who paid tribute.
He said: “Every inch of my heart goes out to his family & friends. A good guy, taken far, far too soon.”
Friend and fellow Love Island star Jonny Mitchell posted on Instagram Mitchell saying he was “heartbroken” by news of Thalassitis’ death, hailing his “positivity and charisma”.
He said: “I genuinely can’t believe what I’m seeing here.
“My boy from the villa and one of my best mates from the show coming out. An absolute hero and a legend and someone I personally looked up to, always full of so much positivity and charisma.
“One of the best people I’ve ever known taken from us far too soon, I’m heartbroken and can’t put into words how much I’m gonna miss you bro!”
A spokesman for ITV, which produces Love Island, said: “Everyone at ITV2 and Love Island are shocked and saddened by this terrible news.
“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Mike’s family and friends.”