Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Backpacker Found Dead in Cambodia

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Backpacker Found Dead in Cambodia

Article excerpt

Byline: Lisa Hutchinson Reporter

SMILING for the camera, Ira Tilley is captured embracing his time backpacking in Cambodia before tragedy struck.

Only weeks into his travels, the 26-year-old was found dead in his bed in a guest house in the busy capital of Phnom Penh.

The former Marden High School pupil was discovered on Tuesday, June 21, when staff at the Mad Monkey Guest House realised he hadn't come out of his room.

Keen footballer Ira, from Tynemouth, had gone travelling around Asia and last month said goodbye to friends and family back on Geordie soil.

His family are too devastated to speak but tributes have been pouring in from his grieving pals.

And his friends say he will be remembered for his cheeky laugh and big smile.

Bob Wear, 74, chairman of Marden Residence football team, in which Ira played, said: "I actually shook him by the hand when he left. He told the manager of the football team that he was leaving about three games before the end of the season and was going backpacking in Asia.

"It was out of the blue but he decided he was going. He was really looking forward to it."

Ira had made firm friends at Marden Residence, which plays in the Blyth and Wansbeck Sunday Morning League.

Grandad Bob, who lives on the Marden Estate, added: "I feel for his parents and his family. I really feel sorry for them.

"He has played with us since he was 12. He has come all the way through, we are like one big family and the lads are gutted, we all are. He will be missed by all of us."

Reports in the local newspaper Khmer News said: "At 1.30pm on 21st June 2016 an Englishman died in bed number 5 in a room of The Mad Monkey Guest House, the cause of death is not known.

"The casualty is called 'Tilley Ira Ewan', male, 26, English.

"It was revealed by the police offi-cials that the male casualty is suspected to have died due to a heart attack. …

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