Student dies after ‘drinking too much alcohol at university society initiation’

Ed Farmer, right, was 20 years old (Picture: Facebook)
Ed Farmer, right, was 20 years old (Picture: Facebook)

A student has died after reportedly drinking too much alcohol at a university society initiation.

Ed Farmer, 20, who was in his first year studying economics at Newcastle University, was taken to hospital and put on life support.

He died the next day with his parents at his bedside.

He had been taking part in a university society’s initiation ceremony, which involved students drinking large amounts of alcohol and taking part in challenges, the Mail Online reported.

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A student at Newcastle told the site: “It was the Agric [agriculture] Society he was on his initiation for.

“Though that was not actually his course, he just joined the society because friends did.”

Another student said: “Apparently it was part of a society initiation. He got really drunk and they … didn’t realise he had stopped breathing until it was too late.”

Mr Farmer’s father, Jeremy, 52, released a statement saying: “The family would like to thank all the staff at the hospital and university who have supported them throughout this time.”

Ed Farmer, left, with his friend, Barney Carr (Picture: Facebook)
Ed Farmer, left, with his friend, Barney Carr (Picture: Facebook)

The statement also quoted one of Mr Farmer’s friends, who said: “You have undoubtedly proved to each and every one of us that there is such a thing as ‘the guy who has it all’ – the intelligence, the humour, the looks and the personality.

“Not many people can challenge a position like that. Thank you for all the memories.”

Mr Farmer was taken to hospital at about 5.45am on Tuesday and died on Wednesday.

He had moved into Castle Leazes halls of residence at the beginning of the academic year, and was a former pupil at Oakham School in Rutland.

Friend Freddie Greswold, who played on the Agric rugby team, paid tribute to Mr Farmer, saying: “Although he was unbelievably happy and cheery, he had his cheeky side to him and never let someone’s ego get too big.”

Friend Barney Carr said on Facebook: “Gone too soon lad. You lit up all our lives, we’ll miss you down here. RIP you legend.”

Professor John Wilson, director of Newcastle University Business School, said: “It is with deep sadness we can confirm the death of one of our students and our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.”