REALITY TV star Kirk Norcross has today left a birthday tribute to his East Lancashire-born father who tragically took his own life last year.

Posting to his Instagram page, the former The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) star said he loved and missed his Haslingden-born dad, Mick Norcross, who would have been 59 today.

He also wanted to use his dad's birthday to “potentially save someone’s life” by encouraging anyone struggling with their mental health to reach out.

Kirk posted a picture of Mick with the caption: Happy birthday dad!

“You are the best man I’ve ever met in my life. Still to this day you push me and drive me to be the best version of myself I can be!

“I love you forever and more. Miss you, dad.”

Taking to his Instagram stories, Kirk said he wanted to have a “deep” conversation with his 167,000 followers.

He encouraged anyone struggling with mental health problems or suicidal thoughts to reach out.

He said: “I want to get a little bit deep. It’s my dad’s birthday today and I obviously can’t celebrate with him.

“Anyone that’s struggling, reach out. I really mean it.

“I know it’s hard and you don’t want to feel like a burden but reach out.

“You have to realise… you as a person are good enough – I promise you. Dig deep and you find it.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Kirk NorcrossKirk Norcross

He encouraged anyone to reach out to family members or a medical professional.

He said: “If anyone isn’t feeling themselves, even if they can’t put their finger on what is wrong with them, just tell a friend, family member or even tell a doctor.”

Kirk, 34, went on to say he was “gutted” that his dad took his own life.

He said: “I am gutted that my dad felt like he had to kill himself I really am. It breaks my heart every second of the day that my dad felt [like that].

“I am not sure of the reason for it but maybe he thought that he wasn’t good enough and I just wanted to tell him that he is.

“My dad is an amazing man – that is who he is.”

Earlier this year, Kirk was announced as an ambassador for a suicide prevention charity called Papyrus.

Kirk said: “On my dad’s birthday [I would like to] potentially help someone or save someone’s life.

“I am a Papyrus ambassador and they are an amazing foundation. If you are struggling and don’t want to tell a family member then message this organisation and they will help you out.

“If I am five per cent of the man my dad was when I am a lot older I will count myself a lucky person.”

Mick, who was raised in Blackburn, was found dead on January 21, 2021, aged 57.

He rose to fame as the owner of the Sugar Hut nightclub from the hit ITV series, The Only Way Is Essex.

He first appeared in TOWIE in 2011 during the second series.

His mum and dad, Margaret and Bernard Norcross, both came from East Lancashire families, his maternal grandmother living at the house in Audley Range where iconic walking writer Alfred Wainwright grew up, and his paternal grandmother a few doors away.

To learn more about Papyrus visit their website:

If you are struggling with your own mental health there are services, helplines and advice over on the NHS website.

If you or someone else is in danger, call 999 or go to A&E now

If you need help urgently for your mental health, but it's not an emergency, get help from NHS 111 online or call 111.

Your mental health is as important as your physical health. You will not be wasting anyone's time.