Floral tributes lined the streets outside Prudhoe’s East Centre following the sudden death of a popular youth worker.

Ian Lowery, who passed away last weekend at the age of 45, was also a skilled footballer and turned out for Blackpool’s youth team.

However, his promising career was cut short by injury, and he returned to Prudhoe where he began coaching youngsters.

He soon became heavily involved with youth work in the town, and was highly respected by countless young people.

Former Prudhoe town councillor George McCreedie had known Ian for decades, and spoke of Ian’s love for Prudhoe.

He said: “I’ve known him since he was nine or 10. It’s terrible, he was like one of the family.

“He was a wonderful lad, he would do anything for anybody. He got involved in almost every community event that went on in Prudhoe.

“When I was running the youth centre he came as a youngster to join the football club, and he stayed there ever since.

“He had fond memories of Blackpool – he was always talking about it.

“He was also heavily involved in the Prudhoe Youth charity shop, encouraging young people to volunteer there. He was just such a lovely lad.

“He loved the town, he was involved in everything. He put an awful lot into this town.

“It’s so unfortunate that he’s not around to hear all of the things people are saying about him. What a fantastic youth worker he was.

“He was involved in sending a group of young people to Burkina Faso, and they still talk about their experiences now.

“The support he gave young people in the town was exceptional. Young people had a lot of respect for him - that speaks volumes.”