Love Island star Mike Thalassitis has been found dead aged 26, reports The Sun.
The reality hunk, affectionately nicknamed Muggy Mike, was found in a woodland near his home in Essex on Friday.
Mike, who shot to fame on the 2017 series of the ITV2 dating show, was about to launch a new restaurant with a friend.
But he had recently suffered a painful split from his Towie star ex-girlfriend Megan McKenna.
He had also been mourning the death of his beloved nan at the age of 94 and there were rumours he had run up debts due to his party lifestyle.
A source said: “It is absolutely tragic to have died at such a young age.
“Mike had so much to live for. He was about to launch a restaurant in Essex with a pal.”
The Sun’s Dan Wootton revealed Mike was left grief-stricken in recent days over the death of his beloved grandmother.
Dan said: “He was grieving the loss of his nan.
“She was 94 and he had moved in to live with her because she needed a full-time carer. He assured me he was fine and was excited about the launch of his shop.
“There was so much in store for his future that this is truly senseless.
“Mike wasn’t the lad you saw on Love Island. He was tender and sensitive and vulnerable and desperate for true love. Rest in peace, mate. I will miss you.”
FOOTBALLER TURNED REALITY STAR
Mike was also reported to be shell-shocked by the death of a close friend on Christmas Eve.
But he appeared to be in good spirits in a final Instagram story posted on Friday evening.
Mike was out drinking with entrepreneur Scott Neilson, who was to be his restaurant partner.
He achieved fame on the 2017 series of Love Island and was also a semi-pro footballer.
Born in Edmonton, the Cypriot played for a range of teams including Ebbsfleet United, St Albans, Chelmsford, Welling United, Stevenage and Margate.
The reality star was due to open his own restaurant, with reports suggesting the unveiling would be next week.
Describing himself as “tall, dark and handsome”, Mike vowed not to be a “villain” on the ITV2 show Love Island when he entered in week two.
But he earned the nickname “Muggy Mike” from islander Chris Hughes after stealing the heart of Olivia Attwood.
Love Island host Caroline Flack led tributes tonight.
She shared a snap of them together on Instagram and said: “Mike... you were a total gentleman... I won’t forget that … it’s so sad ...you will be missed. RIP.”
Hughes was among the first to pay tribute to his former love rival, tweeting: “Every inch of my heart goes out to his family & friends. A good guy, taken far, far to soon.”
Fellow Love Islander Dom Lever wrote: “I’m shocked at the news!! me and Mike Thalassitis may not have seen eye to eye but he was a top guy.”
Ex-girlfriend Tyla Carr, who met Mike on Love Island, said she was “shocked” by the news.
Tyla tweeted: “I can’t believe the call I’ve just had. Mike, you were loved by all of the Love island family. You’ll be missed so much. All my love goes out to your friends and family. Shocked.”
Islander Kem Cetinay wrote: “Such heartbreaking news. My thoughts go out to all of Mikes friends and family.”
His name wasn’t Muggy Mike. Please stop brandishing that. His name was Mike Thalassitis, and every inch of my heart goes out to his family & friends. A good guy, taken far, far to soon. 💔— Chris Hughes (@chrishughes_22) March 16, 2019
I’m shocked at the news!! me and @MikeThalassitis may not have seen eye to eye but he was a top guy 💔🙏🏻— Dom Lever (@_DomLever) March 16, 2019
Such heartbreaking news. My thoughts go out to all of Mikes friends and family 💔— Kem (@KemCetinay) March 16, 2019
Mike’s former club Ebbsfleet paid tribute to the striker — who scored 11 goals in 46 appearances for the National League side.
The club wrote: “All of us at Ebbsfleet United FC are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of our former striker Michael Thalassitis. RIP Michael — and our heartfelt condolences to all his family and friends.”
After the island Mike signed up to appear in the fourth series of Celebs Go Dating alongside Gemma Collins, London Hughes and Sam Thompson.
But, The Sun Online revealed that Mike was secretly dating Ex On The Beach star Megan McKenna.
The reality stars endured a rocky relationship until breaking up last year.
His last Twitter post on March 8 was a fundraising plea to help former football pal Spencer McCall battle cancer.
He posted a shirtless picture on Instagram earlier this month, advertising a prize for followers.
Mike’s death is Love Island’s second tragedy after the death of Sophie Gradon, who starred on the 2016 season.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and is reproduced here with permission.
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