Tributes have been paid by friends and colleagues of a Gobowen man who died suddenly last week.

Daniel Oakley, of Chirk Road, died last Friday prompting a huge response from people in the village.

The 28-year-old, who worked at Derwen College, was described as being kind, compassionate, and ‘one of the nicest people you could meet’.

Wayn Martayn, father to one of Dan’s many best friends, said Dan was an unbelievable character who will be missed by the whole village: Dan and my son Darren grew up together and have known each other for their whole lives. I watched him grow up through my son.

“He really was the life and soul of the party and just such an unbelievable character in the village. He is going to be missed by so many people – there aren’t the words to express that. It’s just absolutely devastating.

“I can’t see the village recovering from his loss for a very long time.

“He lit up every room he went into. He was one of a kind and I was proud to have him as a friend.

“He will never be forgotten.”

Wayn is also chairman of the Graham Edwards Memorial Trophy charity football tournament, and said the response to the charity work from Dan over the years has been outstanding.

“He always supported the football tournaments and charity work in everything we do,” he added.

“Any fundraising we did or charity events we organised; he would always be the first to put his name down.”

Also paying tribute were the staff at Derwen College where Dan worked.

A statement, from Derwen College, which was put together on behalf of staff at the college, said: “Dan was a well-liked colleague who had the rare ability of putting a smile on the face of everyone he worked with. He was a kind and compassionate member of care staff who was able to bring out the best in the students under his care.”

“He will be sadly missed by all at Derwen College.”

A minute’s silence was held at the start of Gobowen Celtic’s weekend game in the Shropshire Premier League. Dan had previously played for the club and was very close to current players and staff.

West Mercia Police has confirmed the 28-year-old’s death is not being treated as suspicious.