A family has been left “devastated” after a “happy go lucky” father died suddenly at the age of just 48.

Mark Fielding, who was well-known in Breightmet, has been described as a “free spirit” who “always” had a smile on his face.

Mark was better known by his nickname ‘Dinger’ to friends and family.

He tragically died on February 8, which his cousin Sammy George says was “unexpected”, and came as a “shock” to the family.

Sammy said: “He was a free spirit and he loved everybody.

“He didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody and they didn’t have a bad word to say about him because he was a real guy.

The Bolton News: Dinger with his cousin SammyDinger with his cousin Sammy (Image: Public)Read our top stories below:

“He always had a smile on his face.

“He knew everybody and anybody.”

Mark would often “do his own thing” and enjoyed going on adventures and making sure he always had a laugh.

In the past he enjoyed going out, including to the legendary nightclub The Hacienda in Manchester.

Sammy said: “He was a happy go lucky person.

“I miss the way he said my name, and just his voice.

“I can still hear it now.

The Bolton News: Dinger with his son Cai Dinger with his son Cai (Image: Public)“He was just so loveable.

“It did not matter what he was going through he would still have a smile on his face and would just get on with it.

“He was so loved by his family and friends.”

He leaves behind his 22-year-old son Cai who he co-parented well with Paula and continued to have a good relationship with her.

His mum and dad Angela and Kevin also lost a son in 1985, and they are devastated that their only remaining son Mark has now tragically died.

Sammy added: “All of the family is devastated.

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“His dad is trying to be strong.

“We have all just come together and there are no words to describe the feeling of knowing that we are never going to see him again.

“He was the life and soul of things.”

Sammy says that Mark "would always have time for children" even those that felt as if they were left out.

She continued: "He would encourage them to join in, whether it be football or camping, or going on walks.

"One particular boy who had autism didn't leave the house, but with encouragement, Ding managed to take him out with his mates or his son whenever they was doing something.

"Children needed nurturing and time being spent with them, and he knew that was very important for a child's upbringing to have positivity given to the children, as there's so much bullying and bad stuff all over the country this day and age.

"And he wanted every child to feel they were important, just as he did with his son."

Mark worked as a labourer in the past and loved working on “inventions” with his dad.

The family are still waiting to find out what the cause of death is.

The funeral will be held on March 5 at 2pm at Overdale Crematorium.

The family will leave from Hardman & McManus Funeralcare on Bury road around 1.15pm.

Sammie has since set up a GoFundMe (www.gofundme.com/f/dinger) to help towards funeral costs and has already raised enough for a deposit.

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.