Alex Stephens, a Norwich City academy ace, died aged 21 in 2014
A family were ‘utterly horrified’ after their hotel surprised them with an effigy of their dead son laid out on the bed with a birthday cake and can of beer on a Jamaican holiday.
Karen Baker, the dead man’s godmother, asked the hotel in Montego Bay for a special treat for his parents Faye and Andrew Stephens who remember his birthday each year.
Alex’s godmother paid staff at the Montego Bay resort to decorate the room with balloons and cake but they decided to include a stuffed effigy of a figure in clothes.
Horrifying: Alex Stephens godmother had tipped staff at the five-star resort to decorate the room as a classy remembrance his parents could enjoy, but this was the macabre set-up that greeted Faye and Andrew Stephens
Mrs Baker took pictures and told the BBC she was left ‘sweating and shaking’ by the shocking decorations of her godson
Mrs Baker, who was staying with the couple at the hotel, told the BBC she was left ‘sweating and shaking’ and ‘utterly horrified’ at the shock of seeing the figure propped up on the bed, with a birthday cake on his lap and a can of Red Stripe in his hand.
The bed had a message written on it which said: ‘Happy Birthday, We miss you Alex.’
TUI have agreed to refund their holiday and are investigating with the five-star hotel, according to the broadcaster.
Mrs Baker said: ‘Staff had gone through my friend’s wardrobe and stuffed the clothes with towels to make it look like a body on the bed. They even put tears down the face and a can of lager in his hand.
‘I was absolutely horrified – as you can imagine I was sweating and shaking. We just didn’t want our friends to see it.
‘I have truly never seen anything like it. I still look at the photographs now and can’t believe somebody thought to do that.’
The godmother told the broadcaster that she removed the effigy before the parents could see it.
The Stephens’ son died in 2014, a former Norwich City academy player, who died age 21.
Faye and Andrew from Willesden in north London had organised their stay at the Royalton White Sands resort through TUI.
A TUI spokesman offered their apologies in a statement to the family and have refunded the family £1,300 per person.
According to the Evening Standard Alex was picked out by talent scouts aged ten and was looking to make his mark on professional football as a defender.
But the youngster died after a fall from a fourth floor in Barcelona when he was visiting for a music festival, according to the paper.