TRAGIC former Towie star Mick Norcross was facing £8.5m in debt before his shock death yesterday.
The former Sugar Hut owner and Towie star was discovered dead at his home in Bulphan, Essex, at 3.15pm on Thursday, after sending a final tweet saying: “At the end remind yourself that you did the best you could. And that is good enough.”
The club owner’s death shocked Essex yesterday – just four weeks before the tragedy, Mick posed up for a beaming selfie with son Kirk, who also found fame on the reality show.
Kirk posted the touching snap on Facebook the caption: “Me and the big man” alongside a heart emoji.
Tributes from devastated friends and fans have flooded in after the news of the Sugar Hut owner’s tragic death.
Gemma Collins said she was “absolutely shocked and saddened” by the news.
Sharing a photo of her and Mick, who she briefly dated, she wrote: “always a gentleman”.
Mark Wright said Mick’s death was “such sad news” as he posted a touching tribute about the “great man” who was “an inspiration to many”.
But financial documents filed with Companies House reveal he was facing money problems after the coronavirus pandemic shut trading on his nightclubs and bars, and a series of property deals left him in debt.
The liquidation of the Essex businessman’s club and restaurant firm Willow Restaurant and Bar Ltd was concluded on 14 Dec 2020 with four outstanding loans due to Barclays Bank and owing £550,559 to 16 creditors- including over £22,000 taxes to the HMRC.
Mick had two other active companies, with business partner Alan Perry, which also had cash flow problems.
Property firm Manor 33 Ltd had assets of £3.9 million, but was still in negative equity of around £138,000 and had an outstanding £3.2 million bank loan.
His other real estate business, 460 Leisure Ltd, bought the historic, but dilapidated, Grand Hotel in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, and won planning permission to transform it into 18 flats, a ground floor restaurant, basement wine bar and health club.
At its latest accounts, the company had three outstanding loans with Aldermore Bank PLC and Pertan Investments Ltd, worth £5.2 million, and was in negative equity of £985,000. Between them both firms had just £6,164 in cash the last time their books were made public.
Aside from appearing on series two and three of The Only Way Is Essex alongside his son Kirk, Mick was best known for the club chain Sugar Hut, with venues in London and Brentwood in Essex.
But Mick’s Sugar Hut Group collapsed in 2018, owing £263k to the taxman and trade creditors.
He also had other trading and property companies, which were liquidised with heavy unpaid debts.