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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Sam Thompson
Sam Thompson is asking people not to judge others in a heartbreaking tribute to his friend Mike Thalassitis.
The reality star became close friends with Mike during their stint on Celebs Go Dating in 2018.
After the tragic news of Mike's death broke, Sam took to Instagram to share an important message with his followers in the form of a heartfelt tribute.
"I wasn't going to do a post. I don't think for me anyway that social media is a place to grieve. It makes me sad that to the normal person in today's world, if you don't do a post then you didn't care," he wrote.
"It makes me scared of where we as a society are heading, but I want everyone to know the kind of guy I saw in Mike. A person just died. A friend could have done more for.
"I met Mike on Celebs Go Dating. I was told he was joining the show with me and my heart sank. I had heard all of the things said about this so-called lothario. This cock sure arrogant guy, who was fresh out of Love Island and ready to steam roll this dating show that I was so terrified to join.
"I remember the first time I laid eyes upon him. I remember the words that came to my head...f**k me he's a Greek god. I had genuinely never seen a more perfect specimen of man. He looked like everything I WISHED I looked like.
"Needless to say an already pretty insecure Sam retreated straight into his shell. That was it. Game over. This Alpha Male had come over, and knocked me for 6.
"What happened next surprised me. He came over to me, handed me a drink, apologised for not saying hello earlier, told me he was terrified and said he couldn't wait to hang out more. I stood there rather ashamed at how badly I had just judged a book by its cover."
"Over the next few months, the shame only grew. This guy was one of the most polite gentlemen I had ever met. He had tom bowled over in a day (tom is a very good judge of character in my opinion), and had us in stitches of laughter when he would recount his Love Island stories. Not once was he crass about anything that happened, or bitter about how it all ended.
"What I did see that I believe he was trying to hide when he was telling stories of how 'Muggy Mike' was born, was sadness. From what I heard, he went into this show he knew practically nothing about, late, and into a pack of Alpha males who wanted nothing more than to win, and gain all the bonuses that that entailed.
"It wasn't easy for Mike in that villa. From what I heard he got ostracised as soon as he went in, and apart from a select few people, was treated like an outsider. I'll never forget the time he pulled me to one side and said thanks. I asked him for what, and he said 'just for calling me Mike, and not the other name'. My heart broke a little bit. Here was a guy that I think knew he wasn't going to be able to get away from the stigma that other people had created for him."
"I have been incredibly lucky over the past year to have met a man like Mike. A friend who, much like the guy I'm currently on tv with has never had trouble being the cool guy or dating women, but who was also so kind, and would pick an insecure wimp like me off the floor time and time again, and make me feel confident, and part of the gang.
"We shared some amazing memories together, from our trip to Scotland, where we passed out together in bed (I've never been more comfy than curled up next to mike!). When we had to double date and you gave me a pep talk about kissing my date for the first time. To Cape Verde where I got such bad food poisoning, and you decided to come and be with me as I was on my own, and you wanted to see if I was OK.
"You are a far better man than me mate, and I will always remember you."
Yesterday police confirmed they were called to a park on Saturday 16th March, to reports of a man in his 20s hanged.
Our thoughts are with all of Mike's family and friends at this difficult time.
Anyone affected by the news of Mike's death, or struggling in anyway, should call Samaritans for free on 116 123 - or write down your thoughts in an email to [email protected]