Dad’s heartbreaking open letter to parents after son’s death on lads’ holiday

A father has shared a heartwrenching open letter to other parents after his son died on a ‘lad’s holiday’ in Spain.

Paul Jones, 50, wrote the moving letter days after son Michael Jones, 21, is understood to have fallen over railings at an apartment block in Benidorm.

In the note he tells other parents to "cherish your children, tell them that you love them deeply – you never know if and when they will be taken from you."

Devastated Paul thanks family and friends for their support as he says he feels ‘broken and so alone’ and ‘can’t see the pain ending.’

Paul wrote: "A part of me died with Michael, never to be replaced or healed, no parent should have to bury their child, it’s just not right, it’s not fair."


Promising young footballer Michael, from Little Lever, Bolton, was on the academy books of both Manchester United and Manchester City as a child and went on to play semi-professionally and at a high amateur level.

He was enjoying a holiday with friends when tragically on July 4, at around 11pm, he is belueved to have fallen to his death from Apartamentos Vina Del Mar hotel, just outside central Benidorm.

Michael’s father Paul Jones, 50, shared his heartbreak and announced his son’s death in a moving Facebook post this week, reports the Manchester Evening News .

He said the family were ‘broken’ over Michael’s passing and revealed the friends he was with on holiday all returned home immediately afterwards.


Paul and his family have flown out to Spain to organise his repatriation and speak with the authorities.

The former Little Lever High School pupil had been playing in the first team at Bolton-based Little Lever Sports Club in the Lancashire Amateur League.

A match between the club and Walshaw Sports Club has been scheduled for this Saturday at Little Lever’s Mytham Road ground and a GoFundMe campaign to help the family has also been launched.

Michael leaves parents Paul and Kath, step-mum Janet, brothers Joseph and Robert and two sisters, Elisabeth and Sarah.

Funeral or repatriation details haven’t yet been announced.


In a statement the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are assisting the family of a British man following his death in Benidorm, and are in contact with Spanish police.”

To make a donation, visit gofundme.com/michael-jones

This is Paul’s Facebook post in full

Michael Jones R.I.P 16/10/96 – 04/07/18 Aged 21.

Forgive me this statement but I need people to know, its time to tell you all.

I ask that those of you who see this and that were close to ‘Mike’ share this so that it reaches all of the rest of his friends.


On the 16th October 1996 I was given the first of two gifts, gifts of life, Michael my eldest son was born at Bolton Hospital.

Earlier this week my beautiful baby boy died whilst on a ‘lads holiday’ in Benidorm, he died alone from injuries sustained from a horrific accident that no one could have foreseen, understand that there is no blame to lay at anybody’s feet.

We met with Mike’s friends on Saturday, they returned early from the holiday, devastated by the loss of a close friend.

We met with the boys and their parents to fill in the gaps of the last hours of Mikes last day, to get a better understanding of the events of the day leading up to his death, to search for a better understanding and help to get some sort of closure.

I thank the boys with all my heart for their time with us, they helped me enormously, I take solace in their words, they need each other now along with their families and must not blame themselves for something totally out of their control.

My wife Janet, son Joseph, family, friends and colleagues have been a massive support over the nightmare of the past few days, thank you all for your kind words.

I am broken and feel so alone, I can’t see the pain ending, a part of me died with Michael, never to be replaced or healed, no parent should have to bury their child, it’s just not right, it’s not fair.

I told Mike I loved him with every opportunity I had and meant every word, I hope he understood just how much he meant to me. I cannot explain how much this hurts.

As you can imagine Kathryn, Sarah, Robert, Joseph and Elisabeth are struggling through these sad sad times, collectively, all we can do is look to get through each day as best we can.

We leave for Spain on Tuesday morning with a view to repatriate Mike, we will see him on Wednesday, until then my baby boy is all alone, we aim to stay close by until he is brought home, this will take another week or so.

At some point I will notify you all as and when we have clear dates, there will be a service at St.Matthews C of E church in Little Lever, moving to Radcliffe Crematorium then to a venue to be agreed for the ‘Wake’, sometime over the next 2 to 3 weeks.

This is an open invitation to all that knew Mike to attend and celebrate his brief but wonderful life, I expect it will be standing room only, at least I hope, but please come, he was well liked and loved by many.

My main priority now is for Joseph, my younger son, he is staying strong, stronger than I ever thought possible, but he hurts beyond words. I ask that his and Mikes friends help him through this awful time.

We have hundreds of photos and a good few videos of him over the years but as parents know children get to an age and they get a life of their own, spending more time with their friends than parents. Any videos or photos of Mike whilst with friends would be appreciated.

Thank you for your patience in reading this post, I hope you don’t feel it pitiful or selfish of me, I haven’t done this lightly.

Cherish your children, tell them that you love them deeply, you never know if and when they will be taken from you.

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