The UK’s tallest man, Neil Fingleton from Gilesgate, Durham, has died. Mr Fingleton, who stood at 7 feet 7 inches, enjoyed a basketball and acting career, appearing in Doctor Who and Game of Thrones.

Mr Fingleton, 36, is believed to have died from heart failure. 

Neil Fingleton was born in County Durham. He moved to the United States at the age of 16 to attend school in Massachusetts before studying at the University of North Carolina on a basketball scholarship.

He then embarked on a professional basketball career, playing in England, Spain, China, Italy and Greece.

County Durham Born UK's Tallest Man Dies
Neil Fingleton pursued a basketball career

 Mr Fingleton next turned to acting. He appeared in a pantomime in Poole, Dorset, and starred in the 2011 film X Men: First Class. He also appeared in Doctor Who in 2015, playing the villain The Fisher King.

He went on to play the giant Mag the Mighty in the fourth series of Game of Thrones. 

Neil Fingleton was officially declared Britain’s tallest man by the Guinness Book of Records in 2007, displacing the previous record holder Christopher Greener. 

Mr Fingleton said, “I have always been taller than everyone since I can remember. My height really took off when I reached 11 and was touching 7 foot. By the time I was 16, I was 7 feet 5 inches.” 

Mr Fingleton came from a tall family. He said his sister “is 6 foot 3 inches, my brother is 6 foot 8 inches, my mother is 6 foot and my father was also.”

Mr Fingelton said, “I have never been self-conscious about my height. I never let my height play a negative part in my life.” 

“Some tall people may be restricted as they are constantly stared at or people ask the same questions over and over. This is the only bad thing about being tall – the stupid remarks and questions.”

“Other than that, being tall is great.”

“Mind you, I’ve heard ‘What’s the weather like up there?’ a million times.”

“I also tend to stay away from places where there’s going to be alcohol involved. Once people have been drinking it can get worse. And you know what – it’s normally short people who are the worst.” 

“But I won’t let someone else’s ignorance or rudeness affect how I feel as a person.”

“I believe I’ve been given a gift. Being tall has opened a lot of doors for me and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

“My height has given me a way into the entertainment industry, which is where I want to be.”

In a Facebook post, The Tall Persons’ Club said, “Sadly it has come to our attention that Neil Fingleton, Britain’s tallest man, passed away on Saturday.”

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family.”

Game of Thrones star Ian Whyte tweeted, “Very sad to hear of the tragic passing of Neil Fingleton. He followed his dreams. Rest in peace.”  

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