ONE year ago the life of a well-loved young man was lost in a tragic accident.

Since then, his family have dedicated their time to raising funds in his name, in order to keep his legacy going through West Somerset and beyond.

On June 7, 2019, the Pring family received a phone call anyone would fear. Their son, Freddie, had fallen from a balcony on an all-expenses paid holiday he had earned for exceeding in his job.

Somerset County Gazette:

CARING: Freddie, who was a talented rugby player as well as a loving son, brother, and boyfriend

The family now want June 7 to be an anniversary to remember Freddie as a son, a brother, a boyfriend and a friend to many. His death was not the end of him, and his legacy continues.

“We are rapidly coming up on the anniversary of Freddie’s death,” mum Heather said. “One thing that has given me comfort this year is knowing that this time last year, Freddie was still vibrant and alive.

“June 7 fills me with dread, has me up in the night with awful flashbacks to the phone call we had saying he had an accident and hadn’t made it.

“It breaks my heart to have lost someone just about to embark into everything he had worked so hard for.

“I suppose I haven’t really grieved yet as I have been holding on to any glimmer of him.”

The family had been planning how to mark the emotional day, but the coronavirus lockdown rules have scuppered some of the things they would have liked to do.

The popular young man loved to sit in the garden with his friends, so his family plan to visit his grave and then come back to the garden to enjoy his favourite meal.

Freddie was a talented rugby player and had a passion for sport, which has now been channelled into the Freddie Pring Memorial Fund, a trust set up in his name.

The fund works to support young people in West Somerset achieve in their sporting endeavours, and is expanding to elsewhere in the West Country.

Mrs Pring added: “Continuing Freddie’s legacy is what drives me. He was badly portrayed when he died and I vowed I would ensure his positive qualities would be continued and shown to the world.

“The pride I have when I do this is on another level. he was my pride and joy and I never told him enough when he was alive. The fund grows from strength to strength, there have been many highlights and many challenges.”

One of the most recent events was in February, when a ball was held to mark what would have been Freddie’s 21st birthday.

Somerset County Gazette:

CELEBRATE: Freddie's friends at his 21st birthday charity ball 

Mrs Pring said: “The support from the community has been hugely comforting, it is obvious that Freddie was a shining star to many people, a true legend.

Minehead Barbarians 1st team changing room has been decorated with quotes and his name, a tribute that his coach wanted to do to express how he truly felt. That’s the level of love for him.”

The fund is building a reputation of holding professional and family-feel fundraising events, to ensure sport development throughout the community.

Mrs Pring added: “I often wonder what Freddie would of made of all this and ask him advice all the time, but it’s always easy to make decisions because he was part of me.

“I have spoken to his closest friends and they always say Freddie would be very proud of the fund, he loved attention.”

Freddie’s caring and supportive legacy lives on through the memorial fund, which will benefit many future generations to come.

But for now, the family mark the real cost of the situation, losing someone so close to their hearts.

“If I could see him face to face, I would tell him how immensely proud of the man he had become,” Mrs Pring said.

“I tell Freddie daily that I love him. But mostly I tell him that I will always have his back and do the best I can do as a mum and to his sisters.

“Freddie, you are so missed. Part of me died when you did.

“I look for signs from you daily, all I ask is to just let me know that you are okay.”