Best friend raises more than £5,000 for Mind after death of Archie Day
The university death of 20-year-old former Bishop's Stortford schoolboy Archie Day prompted an outpouring of love from friends – and fundraising for Mind, the mental health charity.
Archie, who attended Hatfield Heath Community Primary School and The Bishop’s Stortford High School before completing his A Levels at Herts and Essex High School, had struggled with his mental health for some years.
He was found dead in his flat in halls at the University of Salford on October 5 last year, less than a month into a broadcast journalism degree.
The YouTube video blogger had been on a night out with friends, enjoying an Arctic Monkeys-themed club night. He became separated from them, and by the time a distressed Archie got back to his halls his mobile phone was missing.
He was comforted by his mates, but when a member of staff checked on him the next day his body was discovered.
At his inquest on January 18, Bolton coroner Rachel Galloway reflected the complexity of the case and doubts about Archie’s intentions by recording a narrative conclusion.
She said: “I accept he was extremely upset about losing his phone. The blood alcohol level was high and, in my view, that could have played a role in his decision. I have to consider the level of alcohol; how upset he was and that he wasn't thinking rationally at the time.”
Nevertheless, the Daily Mail’s headline was typical of the national tabloid coverage which followed: "Student vlogger hanged himself after 'sobbing uncontrollably' at losing his iPhone". The Sun said: "iPhone AGONY: Instagram vlogger, 20, hanged himself after 'sobbing uncontrollably' after losing iPhone at Arctic Monkeys party."
One of Archie's oldest and closest mates, Rory Marrow, who is studying management, politics and international relations at Lancaster University, has already secured more than £5,000 in his memory for running the Richmond Runfest 10k in Kew Gardens on September 14 – Archie’s 21st birthday.
Rory said: “I’ve known Arch for 17 years. I attended both pre-school and primary school with him at Hatfield Heath before going on to Leventhorpe School, whereas Arch moved to the Bishop's Stortford High School. We remained best friends the whole time.
“I can’t remember the exact date that I became aware of Archie’s depression. I knew that he'd been seeing people about it whilst at secondary school and I always tried to be there if he needed someone.
“We had a lot of discussions about it and I always tried to make sure I could try to make him see positives. It was clear to see that it hit him quite hard after sixth form when people moved on to university as Arch had decided to take a year out before going.
“It seemed as if he was happy when he went to university and he hadn’t spoken to me to tell me that anything was wrong for a while. I wish he would’ve just said something to us but he never did.”
Archie was a mixed martial arts fan and Rory said that he had been looking forward to the Conor McGregor v. Khabib Nurmagomedov UFC fight the day after he died.
Rory said: “To me, none of the signs were there that he was upset. Whenever we spoke he told me how he was enjoying uni and got on well with the people he was living with.
“I want to help to raise awareness because Archie gave me so much throughout his life and gifted me with memories I will never forget, and I feel as though I owe it to him to try to help others like him.
“I decided to do this event as it's going to be on Arch’s 21st birthday so it just felt right. Archie was always an advocate of helping those with mental health issues as he obviously had struggles himself and so obviously that made Mind the right charity. I think the work they do is incredible in trying to help those who suffer.
“I think in order to help those with depression you just have to ensure that you're always there when you're needed. You need to be able to listen to their problems and offer advice when that person can only see the negatives. From my experience, I think that's what Arch wanted: For someone to be there to listen to him and give him advice when he most needed it.
“I would also urge those struggling to always let someone know how you're feeling. There's always someone who cares and always someone who's willing to listen. No one should have to suffer in silence and it's always better to get things off your chest rather than bottling it up.
"Arch was truly one of a kind and the most lively, loving and caring person I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.”