DOZENS of people turned out to pay tribute to a young Tottington man by leaving heartfelt messages on a table dedicated to his memory.
Martin Hadfield, aged 20, was found dead after becoming demoralised at not being able to get a job.
He did not get responses to most of his applications, and 24 hours after he attended a follow-up meeting at the Jobcentre, he took his own life.
His stepfather Peter O’Gorman, mother Annie O’Gorman and sister Kimberley Had-field, wanted to create a lasting memorial, and decided on a table for people to write messages in his memory.
Among those paying tribute was Martin’s best friend Stuart Evans, who lived with him in Market Street.
The table was donated by Pizza Me in Breightmet, and will be placed at Starmount Lodge in Radcliffe, where Martin had many happy memories.
The idea came when his family was dining at the restaurant and were discussing what they would like to do in tribute to him.
They noticed the sturdy tables outside, and asked the owner of the restaurant, Carlos Lopez, where he got the table from. When Mr Lopez heard about the circumstances, he said he was happy to donate his own table.
Peter said: “We were blown away by the offer. It makes it even more sentimental, because both Martin and we have sat at this table.”
He said: “I think Martinwould have been a bit embarrassed, but he would have loved it. He was an artistic person, and he would have loved drawing on it himself. He was very much like that with his gardening; he always had an image of what he wanted to create in his head.”
Martin left school in Tottington with GCSEs and, after helping Peter valet cars, he got a job as a landscape gardener, but was made redundant last year because the firm was downsizing. Martin refused to claim benefits, and applied for 40 jobs in three months without success.
The table will be officially unveiled by the Mayor of Bury, Cllr Michelle Wiseman, at its new home today.
Peter added: “The youngsters always used to go there and it was a place they could get away from the adults.”