Mark Wright has said he is “broken to pieces” after his uncle died with coronavirus.
Edward Wright, who was also father of fellow The Only Way Is Essex star Elliott, died on Tuesday eight weeks after contracting the virus.
Announcing the news on Instagram, Elliott, who appeared on the ITV reality show between 2010 and 2017, shared a series of family photos and paid tribute to the “great man”.
He wrote: “It is with heart wrenching regret, that I have to post this post, my father Edward George Wright passed away peacefully with his family by his side on the 02.03.2021 after bravely fighting Covid for 8 weeks…
“For those who knew my father, you know what a great man he was, always smiling, always humble, always happy, despite the fact in his later years he bravely fought prostrate (sic) cancer, he never moaned and done his best to put a brave smile on..
“His love for his family is what he will be remembered for to all of us, the ultimate family man, wanting to spend every woken minute with his 10 grandkids and children was his only daily thought pattern and request, was that to be with them, the ultimate family man.”
Elliott said he was “simply devastated” and praised his father as “my rock, my best friend, the man who taught me to always be a gentleman, to put family first”.
He concluded: “I know you will be watching over me an the kids, I hope I continue to make you proud, Rest in peace dad. See you at the gates when the time comes. I Love you, with all my Heart.”
Mark, 34, added: “You’d have to be God to find a better man than my uncle. Put simply, you won’t.
“I love you uncle Eddie, I’m never going to forget you. Broken to pieces.”
Among those sharing messages of support was Mark’s wife Michelle Keegan, who wrote: “Such a special man.”
Elliot’s wife Sadie Stuart said she felt “shattered” and added: “May you rest in perfect peace in heaven and be reunited with all your loved ones. May god look after you always and forever… until we meet again.”
Other Towie stars such as James Argent and James Lock also commented with messages of support.