Tributes to stable lad found dead in wood

Grim discovery ... Asif Quereshi's body was found among these trees off Bury Road.
Grim discovery ... Asif Quereshi's body was found among these trees off Bury Road.

Tributes have been paid to a popular stable lad whose body was discovered in a Newmarket wood last week.

Married father-of-two Asif Quereshi was last seen on Sunday afternoon at his flat at St David, Icewell Hill.

A friend found his body in an area of woodland off Bury Road four days later at around 4.15pm on Thursday.

Friends this week told how Mr Quereshi, who moved to Newmarket from India four years ago, used to visit the woods to drink and revealed how he even spent time camping under the trees while out of work last year.

Christopher Pillay, 32, who lived near Mr Quereshi’s home in Pune, near Mumbai, before they moved to the UK, said his friend’s heavy drinking prevented him from holding down a proper job.

He said that in the days leading up to his disappearance, Mr Quereshi, aged in his late 30s, stopped eating properly and spent most of his time drinking and sleeping after losing his job with a town trainer.

He also revealed that friends were collecting money in a bid to buy him a one-way ticket back to India to be with his wife and children before he died.

Mr Pillay said: “He was a nice guy and I don’t know anybody who had a bad word to say about him. He was friendly to everyone.

“I just think he had personal problems.”

Suresh Yadav, 39, who lived with Mr Quereshi in Newmarket, last saw him at about 12.30pm on Sunday as he left for work.

He said Mr Quereshi was complaining of feeling unwell and left him to sleep.

“After that I went to work and I didn’t see him again,” he said. “He was a genuine man and that’s why I lived with him.”

Mr Quereshi worked for various trainers over the years, including Noel Quinlan and Rae Guest.

Mr Guest, who runs Chestnut Tree Stables in Newmarket’s Hamilton Road, described Mr Quereshi as “very pleasant”. Andi Brown, who works at Southfields Stables, remembered a “nice, friendly lad”.

A spokeswoman for Racing Welfare said the charity would be available to provide any necessary help and support to his friends, family and colleagues.

Mr Quereshi’s death is currently being treated as unexplained. One theory was that he may have frozen to death as temperatures plummeted below freezing last week.

A post mortem examination carried out on Tuesday was inconclusive and toxicology tests will now be carried out.

Suffolk Police said they would not be revealing the dead man’s identity until his next of kin had been informed.