TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved former Teign School sixth form pupil who has died following a short illness.
Joe Edwards (pictured), 31, collapsed with a rare heart condition 14 years ago while playing football at school. Since then, he needed a wheelchair.
The news comes just weeks after his father Barry, a plumber in Kingsteignton, also died, aged 65, following a short spell of ill health.
Since Joe's collapse, his mother Jackie has been trying to campaign to get life-saving equipment including defibrillators provided at schools and sports clubs.
Joe, who had been living at Lucerne House, Exeter, had been ill for around a week.
"He was a very special person who was so loved by us all," said Jackie.
"Through adversity he always tried his best and never lost his sense of humour or his lovely smile."
Jackie said she has been overwhelmed by the support from her family and friends.
"Everyone has been so wonderful and supportive throughout these past years including my colleagues at Teign School and all my friends at St Michael's Church," she said.
"I've had more than 500 cards of condolences for Barry and the amount of people at his funeral was overwhelming."
A service of celebration will be held at St Michael's Church, Kingsteignton, on February 8 at midday. Donations are in aid of CRY, Cardiac Risk in the Young, and the British Heart Foundation.
Joe leaves his mum, Jackie, and two brothers Lee and Neil.