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Death of Dean Corbett fron Manchester evening news

Tributes after death of soldier who served alongside Lee Rigby and carried coffin at his funeral

Dean Corbett was a much-loved son, brother and dad
A former soldier who served alongside murdered Lee Rigby and carried his coffin at his funeral has died.

Tributes are being paid to much-loved dad Dean Corbett, a corporal in the Army.

He was 32 with a young son.

Cpl Corbett, who served alongside Drummer Rigby as a Fusilier with 2nd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was found dead at his flat in Urmston, Trafford, on Sunday.

They were close friends and Cpl Corbett's family said he 'endured a massive bereavement' when the 25-year-old from Middleton was brutally murdered in a terror attack in Woolwich, London, in 2013.
Cpl Corbett, bottom right, carrying Lee Rigby's coffin

Cpl Corbett's family said he had a 'history of untreated mental illness' which deteriorated after he left the Army in 2017.

They said his death was not being treated as suspicious.

Cpl Corbett, known to military mates by the nickname 'Ronnie', completed an operational tour of Afghanistan in 2009.

He was deployed on major exercises in Kenya in 2011 and Jordan in 2013, and had also completed ceremonial duties in London.

A GoFundMe appeal for the family has now been launched.

Cpl Corbett's sister, Faye Corbett, issued a glowing tribute to her brother - with military tributes also being paid to him online.

She said her brother had been affected by a recent family bereavement and told her he was seeking counselling for 'traumas' he had experienced.

She wrote on the appeal: "As many of you will already be aware my brother Dean Corbett passed away on Sunday, August 16.

"Dean had a history of untreated mental illness.

"Family and friends repeatedly asked him to get help and following his referral, he had his initial 'over the phone' screening with the mental health team only a few weeks ago.

"Unfortunately he didn't make it to his next session.

"He told me recently that he was going to counselling to receive help for the traumas he had experienced during his life.

"Dean completed an operational tour of Afghanistan during his career in the Army and endured a massive bereavement in 2013 when his colleague and friend Lee Rigby was brutally murdered in Woolwich.

"Dean's mental health deteriorated after leaving the Army."
Cpl Corbett pictured with his close friend Lee Rigby
Faye added that the coronavirus lockdown 'had a massive impact' on his mental health.

She said the family were proud of his service - and his love.

"Dean's death has had a massive impact on a lot of people," Faye added.

"We hope to raise as much money as we can for the funeral.

"Thank you for everyone's kind messages and support."

Cpl Corbett was a pupil at St Monica's Primary School in Flixton and Blessed Thomas Holford High School in Altrincham.

He was qualified as a regimental signal detachment commander, his sister said, and rose to the rank of corporal.

Faye, 33, told the Manchester Evening News : "He was based in Cyprus between 2012 and 2014 as part of the theater reserve battalion, where he was required to go to Afghanistan to train with the latest equipment used on tours.

"On the amalgamation of the 2nd Fusiliers, he moved across to the 1st Fusiliers in Tidworth, and that's where he was based.

"Lee and Dean were in the same regiment - they were very close friends.

"Dean flew home together with a lot of the regiment on the news of Lee's death.

"Dean played poker in the Garricks Head pub and the Steamhouse pub in Urmston.

"He learned to play the flute in the Army and was a self-taught guitar player.

"He was a well-known character and will be greatly missed."

Cpl Corbett leaves his mother, Karen, two sisters, Faye and Abigail, brother Jacob and step-brother Simon.

In a Facebook Post, the Lee Rigby Foundation paid tribute to one of Drummer Rigby's 'closest friends' and described his death as 'heartbreaking'.

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