Former Love Island star Mike Thalassitis dies aged 26

Love Island fans are calling for the show to be cancelled after star Mike Thalassitis was found dead in the woods near his Essex home.

Mike had starred in the 2017 series of the dating show, and had worked as a semi-professional footballer for reams including St Albans, Chelmsford and Welling United.

Following news of Thalassitis' death, several British reality stars mourned his passing on social media. Please stop brandishing that. I'm in shock. Mike you are going to be sorely sorely missed.

While Tyla Carr, who was coupled up with Mike during the show, said "I can't believe the call I've just had". An absolute hero and a legend and someone I looked up to since I met him, always full of so much positivity and charisma.

Steven Watt, who was Mike's manager when he played for Margate, tweeted "Absolutely gutted, RIP mate".

Thalassitis' manager confirmed his death to The Daily Mail.

Mike's fans and his fellow Love Island stars have quickly taken to Twitter to pay tribute. "Way too young. Thoughts and prayers with his friends and family". My heart and soul and love goes out to his friends & family. "RIP Mike", Eden Blackman of Celebs Go Dating wrote. "You'll be missed so much. I'm in complete shock", Olvia Buckland, another co-star, tweeted. "Our sincerest condolences go to his family & friends".

A spokesman for ITV, which produces Love Island, said: "Everyone at ITV2 and Love Island are shocked and saddened by this bad news".

Meanwhile Stevenage FC, for whom Thalassitis began his football career, paid tribute to their former player.

"Everyone connected with Ebbsfleet United is shocked and saddened to learn of the death of our former striker Michael Thalassitis", the statement reads.

Vanessa Coleman