Heartfelt tributes paid to Martin

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More heartfelt tributes have been paid to Scarborough student Martin Barker, whose funeral took place at Woodlands Crematorium yesterday.

The talented drama student, 20, died suddenly after a night out with friends in Manchester on December 9.

Scores of tributes have been paid on Facebook and close friends have been in touch with the Scarborough News to share their memories of Martin.

Cheryl Govan, outreach officer and youth theatre director at the Stephen Joseph Theatre had known Martin for the last 13 years.

He had been a member of the theatre’s Rounders group since he was just eight years old and went on to perform in many productions.

Martin was also a peer mentor, dancer and gifted writer, winning the SJT High Sheriff Play Writing Competition when he was just 13.

Cheryl said: “As Martin grew up it became clear he was a force of energy, enthusiasm and thoughtfulness. He was also clearly becoming an exceptional young actor, leading to him being cast in shows aimed at the older members of the youth theatre.

“His intelligence and sensitivity allowed him to hold his own with his seniors.”

The theatre is now in discussions about setting up a lasting tribute to Martin. An announcement will be made in due course.

Friend Patrick Young also paid tribute, saying: “Martin was an amazingly positive person and I’d like to think some of that rubbed off on me.

“He would always try to find common ground with anyone he met, a trait I consider to be rare and invaluable.

“I cannot think of any situation in which Martin wouldn’t search for the positive, making him a great friend and a superb performer.

“He was generous, kind and his wicked sense of humour tickled and baffled in equal measure.

“I will miss his brilliant dinner jackets, his terrible puns and most of all his contagious grin that could fill a room.”

Sam Irving said: “People are often described as one of a kind but when this is said of Martin it is the absolute truth. Anyone that has even briefly met him has said just that.

“Martin was caring, loving and one of the best friends anyone could ask for.

“If you tell him something in confidence you could always rest assured that it would stay with him.

“He would do anything for his friends. We all know how much we meant to him, and I can never express just exactly how much he meant to me.

“I can never properly express my gratitude for his support he has given me through tough times and I can never express how much I am going to miss him when this eventually starts to feel like reality.”

He continued: “There is nothing that anybody can say to make this any better. I will say this. Martin died a happy man, and that is a fact.

“He had so much love, from so many people and those people will never forget him.”

“There are so many memories that I already cherish.”