A devastated friend has paid tribute to a Coventry man who she described as having a ‘heart of gold.’ Billy-Joe Charles Belfield tragically died at the age of just 24.
Billy, who lived in Stoke Aldermoor, died at the end of last year after ‘losing his battle with mental health,’ his friend said. He left behind two young daughters and was described as a ‘loving man with a heart of gold.’
Friend Shannon Kerbyson said Billy spent his childhood being moved around the care system and just ‘wanted to be loved.’ She said they lost touch with each other but reconnected a few years ago in a moment she described as ‘really emotional.’
Shannon, 24, told CoventryLive: “It was really emotional, then he told me that he was moving back and getting your friend back is probably one of the happiest things. He was so happy to come back, he was all excited.”
Billy was placed in Exeter and welcomed his first daughter when he turned 18. Shannon said he continued to face internal struggles which led to him being ‘in a very bad way.’
Shannon explained: “Unfortunately, his struggles were still very much ongoing. He had a lot of stuff going on in his head and his life so it was a very hard time for him and he was in a very bad way.”
Billy wanted to rebuild his life and decided to move to Coventry. “He was doing well, he was getting himself together, he was working,” she said.
She continued: “He was doing well for himself, and in July last year, he had another little girl, but in December life got a bit too much and he always said there was a storm coming. It was just heartbreaking.
“I knew Billy when he was very happy, but I knew he had his struggles, but to see him break down over the years to get to this point… if you look at any picture of him you can just see the pain in his eyes.”
“We made a pact when we were young that if any of us were low we would always reach out to each other because we were the only people that got each other, so I would always reach out to him and he would always reach out to me, but it is just a shame that this time it must have got too much for him,” she added.
Remembering Billy, Shannon said: “His heart was so pure and if anybody else was struggling he would put everybody else before him even though he was the one struggling the most. When we were young, he was just so loveable, he was just so happy, just bouncing off the walls being really silly and it is just a shame that people have caused that much pain for somebody that just wanted to be loved.”
Shannon now wants to raise funds for Billy to have ‘the best send-off.’ She said: “All we want is to be able to give him a small service so he can finally be at peace and no longer suffering. Any donations would be much appreciated.” Donations via GoFundMe.