Family pay tribute to Penkhull man Mark Hall
THE family of a 39-year-old chef who died 10 days after being found unconscious have paid tribute to a 'lovely, down-to-earth lad'.
Mark Hall, of Penkhull, never regained consciousness after being discovered on a bench with head injuries on August 26.
After undergoing brain surgery, doctors told the father-of-three's family there was nothing more they could do and his life-support machine was switched off.
Police had launched an investigation into reports he had been attacked, but later said the incident was no longer being treated as suspicious.
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Mark's death is the second tragedy to hit his 62-year-old mum Sandra this year, after she lost her husband Alan in April.
She said: "Mark was a lovely lad. He was down to earth and very funny. He has had a troubled time in the last few years, but he was just great."
Mark was dad to Emily, aged 10, Rio, aged eight, and four-year-old Paris-Marie.
His ex-wife Zoe Hall, mum to Rio and Paris-Marie, was the first to raise concerns about his whereabouts after he failed to telephone his children, as he did every day.
Zoe, aged 33, from Biddulph, said: "He hadn't rung the children, which was out of character. We knew something was wrong. Sandra rang the police and they said to ring A&E."
Mrs Hall found out her son was at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire and rushed to be with him.
On September 4, doctors said Mark was totally unresponsive, and turned off his life-support machine. He died in the early hours of September 6.
Sandra said: "His injuries were horrific. At the hospital all the doctors and nurses were saying he had been attacked.
"Then the police said where he was found there were lots of places he could have hit his head. Now we are just in limbo. We don't know what happened."
Only child Mark, who lived with his mum in Harris Street, Penkhull, went to Trent Valley High School – now Thistley Hough – before becoming a chef.
Over the years he worked at venues including Alton Towers, the Fitzherbert Arms in Swynnerton, the Borough Arms in Newcastle and the Church Bar and Restaurant in Hanley. He was not working at the time he died.
Zoe said: "He brought fun and laughter to every kitchen he worked in. He made so many friends along the way.
"He was a funny, loving dad. He will live on through his children, who adored him.
"Now we want people to help the children remember him."
The family are now trying to raise the money to pay for Mark's funeral.
For more information contact funeral director C McGough & Sons, in Tunstall, on 01782 834300.