Tributes to 'firework' Dan Cook who died after collapsing at gym aged 33

Friends and family have paid tribute to Dan Cook
-Credit: (Image: UGC)

Devastated family and friends have paid tribute to a Hartlepool-born lad who has died suddenly at the age of 33 after collapsing in the gym.

Dan Cook left Hartlepool for London in 2010 to pursue a career in music. However, he ended up rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous after joining an aviation company and working his way up to director of sales of Victor Aviation.

Dan’s body will be flown home to the North East in a Legacy 650 Private Jet with his close family and best friend on board in time for his funeral on Thursday, June 6, at 3pm at Stockton Crematorium.

A funding page to raise almost £20,000 for the cost of the flight has already received donations of more than £11,500. Family of the former High Tunstall Comprehensive School pupil said Dan was gifted and talented in everything he did and his great passion was music.

His heartbroken mum, Lesley Perkins said: "My boy was a firework and I want these last few days to be amazing." She said Dan excelled both academically and in sporting activities at school and played rugby for West Hartlepool Rugby Club , through to Durham County level.

Former Hartlepool man Dan Cook who has died at 33
Former Hartlepool man Dan Cook who has died at 33 -Credit:UGC

After sixth form he decided to defer his university place and travel the world, setting off with his close group of friends to Asia and then onto Australia for Christmas Day on Bondi Beach, were he FaceTimed his family.

Lesley said in 2010 Dan left Hartlepool for London to study music at Westminster University and follow his dreams of becoming a pop star. She said in 2012, Dan was lucky enough to be signed by a record label and over the next two years worked with some of the biggest up and coming names in the music industry, including George Ezra and Paolo Nutini.

But, Lesley said: "Things didn't go totally to plan and Dan found himself re-thinking his career options to enable him to stay in London with his partner, Emma, who he met in London on his first day at university." It was then Dan joined Victor Aviation in a junior sales role, where he got to rub shoulders with the rich and famous and quickly worked his way up to director of sales and was due to become the managing director of the firm's new office in Abu Dhabi.

Dan died on May 15 after collapsing in the gym, but cause of death has not yet been established. Lesley said: "As a family we have been shown Dan left a huge legacy behind in his workplace with his caring leadership skills and highly motivational approach to all and every situation.

"Dan's fiancé, and we as a family, along with friends are profoundly devastated by Dan's very sudden death and are somehow trying to find comfort in all the positive and powerful ways Dan seemed to have impacted so many people's lives. The outpouring of kind messages and praise from so many both personally and professional has swollen our hearts beyond measure."

A statement from Victor Aviation said of Dan: "Above being a business leader, he was a cherished mentor and friend to many within our company and across the entire industry. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.

"Dan's passing was very sudden and has sent a deep shockwave through the Victor team. As we mourn his loss, we will treasure the countless memories he leaves behind – including his caring leadership style, highly motivational team-building sessions and his razor-sharp wit - all of which have helped to shape an incredible team culture that lives on in his name. Dan, we all miss you so much, but we will carry on your legacy and do our very best to make you proud."