Cassidy Guitars

Remembering Mick Downworth

1967 ~ 2021

I was very sad to hear of the death of Mick Downworth yesterdayThe exact circumstances of his death will be decided by the Coroner, but the available facts suggest a tragic end for Mick.


I first met Mick in 2011 when he brought his 8 year old son Harry for Guitar Lessons. Always greeting me with a smile and a joke each week, we had a lot of fun as Mick sat in on Harry’s lessons. Mick soon took a real interest in playing himself which led to him taking Bass Guitar Lessons alongside Harry, even picking up a couple of Grades along the way. 


Mick was a big supporter of Cassidy Guitars as we introduced our new Guitar range in 2013, buying one of the very much sought after Transluscent Blue Encounter CE701 Electric Guitars for Harry, and a couple of very nice Bluesville Basses for himself. 



Mick also attended the adult Group Workshops which I run occasionally and was always fully engaged and game for a laugh with the other participants. It was at one of the Workshops that he met John Ridgeway who subsequently started lessons together as they started to work out a set list for a band – soon recruiting a Drummer and singers before heading out to full rehearsals and gigs. 




Mick’s one-off Aged Cherry Sunburst BVB351 Bass shown in the above photos above was subsequently stolen in 2018 and never recovered – If you have this I hope you are pleased with yourself.


Mick also supported me in my gigging days with my band Sundance attending a number of gigs and always very generous in his feedback.


Having served for 23 years in the British Army, Mick more recently worked as a Senior Community Outreach Worker with a Housing Company in Gateshead supporting the Health, Social, and Housing needs of ex-Servicemen and their families, and even rubbing shoulders with Royalty…



Mick was also a keen member of the Durham Amateur Rowing Club and the Gateshead Community Rowing Club and was instrumental in developing a number of initiatives to expand rowing facilities and events in the North East, making a lot of friends in the process.




Like many of my Students and Customers over the years I would say that Mick became a friend. My thoughts and prayers are with Harry, his sister Katie and the rest of Mick’s family at this sad time.


It was great to have known you Mick – Rest in Peace my friend.



Finally, to anyone else who has read this far ~ I know we are all having a hard time living through Covid, repeated Lockdowns and risks to our livelihoods  – and we aren’t over these problems yet. If you feel things are getting too much then don’t leave it too late before you talk to someone. The Samaritans on 116123 would be a good start.


Take care everyone, be kind to yourself and keep a watchful eye over those around you…


  1. andrea downworth

    Thank you for taking the time to write this. My brother loved his Bass and the lessons he took with you. He was troubled and now rests in peace. His partner Clare & I will be using some of the funds donated to highlight the facts and implications and consequences around Parental Alienation- a cause of so much grief and trauma with fathers unable to see their children. My heart goes out to his children and to his partner Clare. I was fortunate to be able to speak to him hours before he commited suicide. He seemed upbeat and chatted as usual about the snow, my children and what he had planned for his day. I am truly devastated and just wanted more time with him. All the pain has now gone Little Brother, RIP forever.

    • Simon Cassidy

      Thanks Andrea – those of us that had the pleasure of knowing Mick were all devastated to hear the news. So sorry to hear of his troubles – please pass on my sincere condolences to Clare, Harry, Katie and the rest of Mick’s family. A tragic loss. RIP Mick

    • Steve Dunn

      Hi Simon & Andrea,

      Simon a lovey tribute to a lovely lad. Andrea I don’t think we have met? I got to know Mick well when I took up rowing a number of years ago, he did so much to help others and myself at Tynemouth Rowing Club he was a huge friend to, and very much appreciated by all our active members. We became good friends and rowed together on a number of occasions, I used to bunk off work and we would take a double out down at Durham, we even won a heat at Tarn Regatta. We last spoke at the finish of the Great Tyne Row 2019, as I got out of the Tynemouth boat Mike was there helping as he does even though he had just completed the race too, Mick came over said well done and handed me a beer, cheers! I did try to get in touch again with Mike before Christmas, with so much time on my hands during lockdown I thought there may be a chance of getting back on the water, how I wish I had tried harder. Like a lot of others to hear of Mick’s passing hit very hard and still does, we had a lot in common and although we did discuss the similarities of relationships breaking up we never really opened up, I think that’s probably a man’s thing, we think that because you look and seem OK why dwell on it, how wrong?
      I’m so really sorry for your loss and please pass on my condolences too.

      RIP Mick, not to be forgotten CHEERS!

      • Andrea Downworth

        Hi Steven, no we haven’t met but thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about my brother on here. He loved rowing and had made so many good friends through his enthusiasm for the activity. When someone passes, especially in such a tragic way, we always wish we had spent more time with them and shared more conversations. Certainly men tend to keep personal situations more to themselves than women. I intend to explore this more in the future, using my brothers plight as an example that may help others in similar situations. Having spoken to Male mental health charities, my brothers situation is not unusual and one of the main causes of Male suicide. It’s an area of mental health that needs to be recognized and laws need to be reformed. Thank you for the time you spent with Mick and thank you for taking the time to reply on here. We are holding a memorial service and there will be a recording. I will let Cassidys know how to get in touch with me or Clare, Micks partner, should you wish to see it, kind regards, Andrea

        • Simon Cassidy

          Thanks Andrea – has Mick’s funeral taken place yet? I look forward to seeing the recording of the Memorial Service. Take care, Simon

          • andrea downworth

            Hi Simon,

            Mick is being cremated on Thursday the 18th of Feb at 8.30 am. Sadly it is a direct cremation with no one in attendance, no service or family as instructed by his estranged wife. He did leave his wishes with me, which were quite detailed but the law states his almost ex wife is next of kin. However, we take comfort in knowing he is at peace and I will be in touch with a link to his Memorial service.

            kind regards, Andrea

          • Simon Cassidy

            Sorry to hear that Andrea – which Crematorium?

    • David Turpin

      I worked with Mick. Such a loss. I’ll never get over it really. Sad loss. So sorry this happened Andrea

      I do wish Injad reached out to him.

  2. andrea downworth

    Mountsett, Stanley, County Durham. Apparently the setting is lovely and rural.

  3. Miss Samantha Storey

    Andrea, can I just say how amazing your brother was. I knew Mick through work and also through the help he give my partner. I have trauled the internet for some information on his funeral. There are no words to say how wonderful a man Mick was and the impact he has had on my partners life. Anything to help raise awareness for mental health and to help in any way we can please let me know. Mick touched the lives of so many many people and I know those people would wish to return the help.

    • andrea downworth

      Hi Samantha,

      Thank you for your message. There is a memorial service next week for my brother but due to Covid, the numbers are limited. I will be able to send you a link to see the service later on. If you email Simon on here, he will give you my email address. In the future, I will be adressing mental health and also the impact of parental alienation on men and in my brother’s name. I will keep you updated and would be grateful for any help or input from you. I am so happy Mick was able to help your partner. Thank you so mch for your kind message, it means a lot. My brother is at peace now after a turbulent few years.
      Kind regards, Andrea

      • David Turpin

        Hi Andrea, I worked with Mick for a lot of years. So devastated. If there is anything I can do, or stories I can share, please let me know. Mick was a very funny man and very caring. I’ll never understand what led to him ending his own life.

        So sorry.

        • andrea Ballantine

          Dear Dave, thank you for taking the time to comment on here. It really does mean a lot. Please share stories if you can.

          I would like any memories to be published and to keep his memory alive. All too often after a tragedy like this, memories are quickly erased through grief, especially by family members trying to cope with the loss. I appreciate your input on here, with kindest regards, Andrea

  4. Martin Magee

    Andrea I was Mick’s boss both at 207 field hospital and also in Iraq as the camp commandant where he worked for me and impressed me with his ability as a stores guru and a really excellent human being. He gave me great advice and support and as a result he was recommended to stay on and become the RQMS to 256 field hospital. I was extremely proud to call him a comrade in arms and have thought fondly of him over the years . I am so sorry for your loss but he will continue to live in my heart . Best regards Martin Magee

    • andrea Ballantine

      Dear Martin, thank you for your for your post. It really means a lot. Kind regards, Andrea

  5. Steve Flower

    I worked with Mick during late 90’s / early 2000 during my final posting at 24 AFA.
    In true military fashion we could go a year or two without seeing each other & then catch up like it was just yesterday since the last pit stop.
    We had arranged to meet up New Year 2021 and I was absolutely stunned to hear this news.
    He was an amazing guy and a good friend and I am so sorry for your loss.
    I’m sure a still have a few photo’s of us knocking around somewhere at home, so if you’d like me to send you them please let me know.


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