Tributes have been paid to a charity founder who has died of cancer at the age of 53.
Well-known Morpeth man David Tinlin, who set up Drout (Drink Out, Dry Out) two years ago to help people with alcohol addiction, died at his home on Saturday.
The brave Stobhill resident spoke to the Herald two months ago to give his farewell message after being told he had just weeks to live.
He spoke of his greatest achievement – recovery from decades of alcoholism and being able to help others in the same position.
And his prime concern was for the work at Drout to carry on.
Right up to the end he was taking calls from his sick-bed to support clients in need.
He thought of nothing else, but other people. Right up to his last breath he was putting other people before himself.Tracey Tinlin
His sister Tracey Tinlin said: “Since David turned his life around he has been an inspiration to us. He has always been loved by his family, but after getting over his problems he has made us all really proud.
“He thought of nothing else, but other people. Right up to his last breath he was putting other people before himself.”
Mr Tinlin was born and bred in Morpeth, attending Stobhillgate, Chantry and King Edward VI schools. After leaving school he had various jobs, a labourer, farmhand, painter and decorator, milkman and window cleaner among them.
But it was in his charity work where his passion lay.
After getting over his own demons with the drink, he worked as a peer mentor at Escape Family Support, before setting up his own charity Drout in Morpeth.
The work led him to complete numerous fund-raising feats, from fire and glass walks, bungee and parachute jumps to the Great North Run and coast-to-coast cycle ride. He also organised many charity entertainment nights at local clubs.
In 2012 he was selected as an Olympic torch bearer for the national relay, completing his leg between Ashington and Choppington.
After learning of his terminal illness he presented the torch to Morpeth Mayor Nic Best to be kept for the people of Morpeth in the hope it would inspire others to achievement, no matter the odds.
Mr Tinlin has served on the committee of Morpeth Comrades Club and Morpeth RAFA Club, and has raised funds for Henry Dancer Days children’s cancer charity.
RAFA Club Chairman Doug Harrison said: “While David had his own charity, he also did a lot of work for RAFA. He was an excellent chap, who would do anything for anybody without question. He was just that type of guy. He was always doing something for us charity-wise. He never said boo to a goose, he just got on with what he did.”
Morpeth Comrades Club Chairman Dennis Wheadon said: “David served on our committee for two periods. He was very well-known, a real character of Morpeth.
“We held numerous charity nights for his work and he was always going round for donations or doing raffles.
“Even though he wasn’t a drinker, he still socialised quite a bit in the club.
“You just couldn’t fault him.”
Friend David Clark added: “David was a proper Morpeth Gadgy. His is such a warm human story. He turned his own life around and then helped other people who were in the same dark, depressing place as he had been. He helped an awful lot of people in the later part of his life. He was a good man right to the end.”
Mr Tinlin’s funeral will be held at St George’s United Reformed Church in Morpeth, at 10am, on Friday, April 10. Before his death, he recorded a version of The Answer To Everything, by Del Shannon, to be played at the service.