Brothers’ tribute to dad-to-be, 40, who died after refusing Covid jab

A fit and healthy dad-to-be, who decided not to receive a vaccine, died after contracting coronavirus. The brothers of Marcus Birks, from Leek, have vowed to keep his memory of him alive.

He died in August before he got to meet his son, Blu Marcus, who was born in December. The 40-year-old made national headlines when he urged people from his hospital bed to get the Covid jab.

Marcus’s younger brothers have paid tribute to their ‘one-in-a-million’ brother as they embark on a challenge to raise money for charity in his memory. Ashley and Kyle Birks said that his death left a massive hole in their lives, StokeonTrentLive reports.

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His younger brothers, Ashley and Kyle Birks, say Marcus’s death has left a massive hole in their lives. They paid tribute to their ‘one-in-a-million’ brother as they prepare to take on a challenge to raise money for charity in his memory of him.

Ashley Birks, left, and Kyle Birks, right, who are doing a 10K race as a fundraiser in memory of their brother Marcus Birks

Ashley, aged 34, of Priory Avenue, Leek, said: “Marcus was like light in a bottle. He wanted everything that life had to give and lived in the moment. We were really close. We spent most days together. He lived for his family and nothing else.

“Losing him happened out of nowhere, it happened so fast. We were in a daze. He and his wife had renewed their wedding vows and around that time a lot of people in our circle got Covid. I had it too.

“I spoke to him every day while I was ill. Around day eight I was starting to feel better, but he wasn’t. I told him any day now he should be getting back on his feet. Later that same day he had the ambulance out due to his oxygen levels being low.

“From there he got worse while he was in hospital. The treatments weren’t working. Right up until he passed I still thought he would get better. We still don’t really know why it went that way when Marcus was so healthy.

“It gets to the point where you can’t dwell on it. He wouldn’t want us to do that. It has been really hard and there are different forms of grief that we are still going through, but we are trying to keep it positive going forward, especially for his son and his wife.”

Ashley and Kyle are taking on a 10k race in his memory
Ashley and Kyle are taking on a 10k race in his memory

Twenty-five-year-old Kyle, who lives on Market Place in Leek, said Marcus was a father-figure to him as well as a brother. He said: “Marcus was my best friend and a role model. I looked up to him, he was the head of the family.

“He was one-in-a-million. He was down to earth, funny – a practical joker – but he was also the most sensitive person. Family was everything to him.

“Since he’s been gone it’s like a big void in my life. We are all still struggling but it’s brought us closer together.

“His son Blu is the spitting image of him. Having him is like having a piece of Marcus still here. Marcus was so excited about being a dad. He had achieved everything else he wanted in life. It’s really sad he didn’t get to meet his son.”

Former Leek High School pupil Marcus, who was one of six siblings, was a musician who had enjoyed success performing alongside his wife Lis. He had also appeared on several TV programmes.

Ashley and Kyle are being joined by a group of Marcus’s friends to take on Born Survivor – a 10k assault course – on May 7. The group of around 15 competitors will be raising money for mental health charity Mind in Marcus’s memory.

Ashley said: “We want to make sure he’s remembered and do something positive. As a teenager Marcus suffered with his mental health and anxiety, and over the years he learned to combat that and have a positive mindset.

“He became an advocate for mental health through his own journey so Mind is a fitting charity for us to raise money for.”

You can donate by going to the group’s JustGiving page here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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