A WEST FIFE man described as a “big friendly giant” has passed away suddenly aged just 27.

Joshua Gregory, who his heartbroken family said had a smile and a laugh that could light up any room that he walked into, died on July 20 after developing deep vein thrombosis.

His mum, Paulette Mill, of Dover Drive in Dunfermline, said that he simply “loved people and cared about people”, and that the messages of support the family have received has helped them find strength as they come to terms with the shock of their loss.

Born in south-east London, 6ft 4in Joshua moved north when he was five and attended North Queensferry Primary School.

After briefly attending Inverkeithing High, Joshua moved to Stewart’s Melville College in Edinburgh before going on to study music, which Paulette said was “part of his DNA”, at college in Greenock.

He recently completed an HND in petroleum engineering at Dundee and Angus College, where he was set to serve as student president for a second term, and had also volunteered with their sports union.

Paulette, who said he had joined the ‘27 club’ – the age that talented musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain and Jim Morrison all passed away – commented: “He loved people and cared about people.

“When he walked into a room, you knew he was there with his smile and his laugh.

“Music was part of his DNA. He went to the Vine Church and helped at a Friday night group teaching kids to play guitar, he was in a band when he was at Greenock, and he was a drummer in a pipe band.

“He played rugby, basketball, football, cricket and surfing – he tried all sorts of things. He was just a big friendly giant. It’s a shock but we can’t thank everyone enough for the love and support they’ve shown.”

Joshua’s girlfriend, Yvonne Nessel, said: “He was late for our first date and then we went to an Indian buffet – that summed him up really!

“He would do anything for anybody and would put everyone else before himself. He was positive, someone who believed in you and wanted to support you, and happy, loving and funny.

“He had taken up fishing again a couple of weeks ago at Balmule and there’s already talk of them putting a plaque up there for him.”

In a tribute post on Balmule Fishery’s Facebook page, they said their “big pal” was “one of the nicest people” they’d met

Dundee and Angus College highlighted his “engaging, friendly personality”, and that he was “a pleasure to work and study with”.

Industry nightclub in Dundee,where he worked as a barman, held a night of remembrance last Friday to raise money for a trust in his name promoting positive mental health among men.

On Facebook, they said: “Josh was one of those rare guys that was everyone’s friend, always giving off a positive and happy vibe to all. He could change the atmosphere in a room from bad to good in seconds.”

A celebration of Joshua’s life will take place at Dunfermline Crematorium at 1.15pm on Monday.