Afghanistan war vet and nightclub DJ dead at 29 after taking own life
A much-loved Birmingham soldier turned DJ who ran his own club shows in the city has died aged just 29.
An outpouring of grief followed the death of dad-of-one Josh Wilson, an Afghanistan veteran who lived in the Jewellery Quarter.
He launched party brand Foliée in October 2016 and his events were known for their underground house music, high-end production and international and local DJs, staged at The Mill in Digbeth.
Josh took his life on October 10, to the devastation of his son Jaiden, nine, mum Mandy, brother Tom and all his friends and family.
It was Josh's dream to take Foliée global and people across the UK are pledging to make that happen in his name.
Mandy said: "To me, Josh was more than a son, he was a soul friend. I loved watching him investing his own salary from engineering work after his time in the Army. It made me so proud to see how passionate and dedicated he was to making his dreams come true.
"He would always say to me that he was putting parties on for the people and that, if he had a bad time at them, it didn’t matter as long as everyone else had a good time."
His friend Andy Bell said: "Josh had an extremely infectious personality and was capable of lighting up any room he walked into.
"Upon leaving the Army, Josh began producing his own club shows in Birmingham under the brand Foliée.
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"These shows were hugely popular, not just in the Midlands but with customers purchasing tickets across the country and would go on to sell out large venues across Birmingham.
"It was Josh’s dream to take this project to the very top and part of that dream was to be running shows in Ibiza as well as running a Foliée record label.
"Both of these projects will be carried out in Josh’s honour and donations of profits will go to support Jaiden."
A GoFundMe page has been set up on Josh's memory and more than £25,000 has already been donated.
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Organiser Anita Sandland said: "This GoFundMe has been set up in loving memory of Josh Wilson so he can get the send off he truly deserves.
"Any amount remaining will be given to his son Jaiden and family. He was loved by many and will never be forgotten."
Before launching Foliée, Josh served his country in C squadron and completed two tours of Afghanistan in 2011 and 2014. He left the Army as a lance corporal.
When lockdown hit, Foliée became virtual. There was also a sell-out open air event at The Berlin Bar in August 2020.
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People have shared their sadness on Facebook, with one saying: "Josh was hugely loved and respected by so many and the hard work, dedication and passion he applied to make sure Foliée was successful was second to none.
"He took great pride in perfecting everything; from the line-ups to the décor and all-round positive vibes he brought to his events, Josh always seemed to find a way to overcome any barriers."
He added: "He will truly and sincerely be missed by us all. Mandy requests that his legacy lives on through his brand as she knows this is what he would have wanted.
"Therefore his forthcoming shows will continue as planned using the vision and direction he had shared amongst the team and we are determined to at least make this just half as legendary as this Brum town legend would have done.
"His dream was to take Foliée global so we have to come together as a scene to make this happen and to make Josh proud of all he has and will continue to achieve now he’s here with us in spirit.
"We will always love you Josh and you will remain forever in our hearts."
For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK free on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.
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