TRIBUTES have been paid to a "true gentleman" who has died at the age of 75.

Well-known Geoffrey Haydock, who had lived his whole life in Little Lever, died on Saturday, January 11, aged 75.

Family, villagers and a ward councillor have all paid tribute to him.

Mr Haydock studied engineering at school and college before studying for a diploma in mental health and he worked with patients on a one-to-one basis.

Mr Haydock lived on Ruskin Road, before moving to Alice Gardens.

He was a member of the working men's club and had been an active member of the Labour Club.

Although he never married, he was close to his family, who do not live out of the area.

Great niece Natalie Emmett said: "We were always in touch, he had recently got a new phone, which his friends at the working men's club helped set up for him. He would Facetime at 2.30am.

"My mum ­— his niece Deborah ­— would always be on the phone and his two great great nieces and nephew meant everything to him."

Natalie and her mum were by Mr Haydock's side when he died in hospital.

Natalie said so many of those who knew him were sharing stories of him.

"Those who work at Tesco's remember him coming in for his shopping and he would always ask for them to get him bread from the back," said Natalie, "He was sociable visiting the working men's club everyday but Monday!"

She added: "He would do anything to help anyone, he was always there to give advice and help with any problem."

Cllr Sean Hornby said: "Geoffrey was very well known in the village, and would always stop and have a word with those he met. He was a gentleman."

Tributes have also been paid on social media.

Rick Allen added: Very sad news, he was a nice man alway ready for a bit of a chat. Little lever won’t be the same with out him.”

A funeral service will be held on Friday, January 31 at 1pm at Overdale crematorium and all who knew him are invited to attend. Donations can be made in lieu of flowers to Derian House Children’s Hospice.