Devastated parents pay tribute to beloved son Martin Holder
DEVASTATED parents Marj Hamlett and Colin Holder are struggling to come to terms with the death of their beloved son Martin.
The teenager, who they said was never seen without a smile on his face even in the tough times, was found hanged on Wednesday evening. Martin, 16, of Pennine Road, Whaddon, was yesterday described as "not having a bad bone in his body".
Mrs Hamlett said: "Martin was never seen without a smile. He was always polite and well-mannered. "Nobody had a bad word to say about him."
She said the family was still coming to terms with their loss. His 13-year-old sister Charlie alerted neighbours Nick and Lisa Rust to his death.
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They called paramedics after he was found upstairs at his home.
Martin's father Colin Holder said 16-year-old Martin had been obsessed with computer games and rock music. Studying forensic computing at Gloucestershire College, Martin hoped to one day work at GCHQ. And he was well-known in Prestbury as a paperboy for the Echo for two years, a role he had recently passed on to his younger sister.
After spending time singing with a band, Martin had been scouring the internet to form his own group.
The youngster had even sung at Cheltenham pub The 2 Pigs – a moment which stood out for his proud parents.
Mr Holder said: "Martin loved his rock music and he loved his computer gaming.
"He used to write his own music. Singing with the band was probably the highlight of his life."
Martin had attended St Mary's Infant and Junior schools in Prestbury before moving on to Cleeve School.
Tributes on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter suggested he had been the victim of bullying while at the secondary school.
Ms Hamlett, who is separated from Mr Holder, was aware there had been problems.
She added: "Martin was bullied at school.
"We don't know for certain if it was bullying that caused him to do what he did, as he didn't leave a note.
"But I would never have thought that Martin would be the kind of boy to have done something like this."
Mr Holder said more needed to be done to protect children from bullying at school.
He added: "Martin could have taken the physical side but it was the mental bullying, which was just constant.
"It is about time schools did more to stamp out bullying."
Mrs Hamlett was due to marry her partner Mark Hughes next September and had asked Martin to walk her down the aisle at Ellenborough Park.
Staff at Cleeve School said they were saddened to hear of Martin's death.
A school spokesman said: "Martin is remembered as a very happy young man with a love of music, who sought to achieve the very best for himself.
"He was always keen to help others and will be fondly remembered by his many friends and peers."
Staff at Gloucestershire College were also shocked.
Peter White, executive director of customer services and marketing, said: "Martin was a well-respected Level 3 Forensic Computing student at Gloucestershire College. Our deepest condolences go out to Martin's family and friends at this extremely sad time."
As a paper boy, Martin did a paper round in the Bouncers Lane area.
His sister, Charlie, took over the round in October, although Martin helped her get it done.
Paying tribute to Martin, the Echo's home delivery agent Jayshree Chavda described Martin as a bright and hardworking young man.
A date for the funeral is still to be arranged.
The police are not treating the death as suspicious.