Stephen Clements’ cause of death is yet to be officially confirmed, after the radio presenter died at the age of 47.
The popular broadcaster, who landed his “dream job” at BBC Radio Ulster last September, had signed off his Monday show by telling listeners he would “see them again tomorrow at around the same time”.
But on Tuesday morning, his colleague Stephen Rainey was on air instead, saying he was standing in for his friend but not giving a reason.
The talented presenter leaves behind his wife Natasha and their two young children, Poppy and Robbie.
“If you could see what’s COMING, you wouldn’t stress about what’s happening,” read the text post.
Stephen had captioned it: “De-stress.”
He’d also shared a snap of a beautiful sunrise on January 1, writing next to it: “Sunrise on 2020. This year will be a great one.”
Stephen had then posted a collage of pictures noting his professional highlights from 2019, captioning the post: “What are your New Years Resolutions?
“Or are they a waste of time that leave people feeling like failures early on in the year?️”
And on January 6, the evening before news of his death was announced, Stephen had shared nine pictures of his beloved family on Twitter , alongside a praying-hands and red heart emoji.
Heartbroken fans have been paying tribute to Stephen on his social media.
One wrote: “Nothing really seems appropriate to write here this morning. No dry eyes on the morning commute. Thank you for the support over the years and thank you for the laughs. An absolute legend gone far too soon. Thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends. I hope you rest easy xxx.”
Another said: “So sorry to hear the sad news. Thoughts are with your family. Rest in peace, you will be greatly missed x.”
And a third commented: “I am truly heartbroken for your family and friends right now. I can’t imagine what they are going through. Your show helped me through mornings when I didn’t want to get up. When I moved to Canada I still tuned in. You don’t get the same ‘craic’ here lol. The fact that you were an MUFC supporter was the icing on the cake. Rest easy mate.”
Stephen had reacted with surprise when he was head-hunted by BBC bosses, telling the Belfast Telegraph he had once been warned he would never make it in radio.
“You don’t go to the BBC, you can’t go to them and say, ‘Employ me’… they have to come to you,” he said at the time.
“Fortunately, they came to me. I could hardly believe it.”
Stephen had been working as a salesman when he was offered a part-time job at City Beat radio, which his pregnant wife begged him to take, knowing how much it would mean to him.
“I just thought it was too big a gamble, plus I was going to have to take a pay cut. We’d only just got a new house,” he explained to the newspaper.
“My wife said, ‘Please take this job because your face is tripping you and it’ll work’. I think she was worried, but she knew it was my dream to work full-time in radio.”
Stephen’s devastated brother Gavin described him as “deeply loved”.
In a heartbreaking tweet, he wrote: “My inspiration, my hero, my brother, I am broken!”
And in a statement issued through the BBC, Gavin said: “We are devastated to lose Stephen who was deeply loved by his family and friends.”
“We would ask for time to come to terms with this news and for privacy at this difficult time.”
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