A YOUNG father from Bolton who ‘always had a smile on his face’ has died suddenly.

Gareth Jones, 36, had been making plans to marry his fiancée before he passed away in his sleep suddenly on Monday.

Family of the father-of-three described him as an entertainer who loved telling jokes and making people laugh and, although he had a lifelong struggle with epilepsy, never let it hold him back.

Gareth’s brother, Jack Booth, said: “We knew he suffered from epilepsy but nothing this serious.

“He’d been in and out of hospital most of his life, but we were not expecting a death.

“It’s still not sunk in because of how sudden it’s been. It’s not hit everyone. We never had any clue an early death would occur.”

Gareth had been making plans to marry his fiancée, Lisa Booth, while continuing in his duties as doting father to three teenage boys — Alan, 15, Jake, 18, and Leroy, 19.

Gareth grew up in Halliwell and attended Sharples School, and was a popular member of the community as well as being a keen Bolton Wanderers fan.

His family say he will be deeply missed by his mother, his five siblings and young nephew.

Mr Booth, said: “We’re only a small family, but we’re really close.

“He always had a smile on his face. He loved to tell terrible jokes and he was very sarcastic.

“Even if he was feeling down, he would still make an effort to make everyone cheer up.

“He really lived life the way he wanted, he had no limits. He never used [epilepsy] as an excuse.”.

Mr Booth added that Gareth was still grieving the loss of his own father, Alan Jones. He said: “He can dance with his father again.”

The family started a fundraiser in memory of Gareth on Go Fund Me to raise money for his funeral. Friends and family have generously donated more than £1,000 already in under 24 hours, just over half of the £2,000 goal set. There will also be a charity football match held to raise money. The match will take place on Sunday at 1pm at Moss Bank Pavillion.