Tributes have poured in this week following the tragic early death of a well-known landlord of a town centre pub.
Matt Randell, of The Ship, would have been 33 next month but died on Saturday after battling a long illness.
The former Caedmon and Whitby Community College pupil was a familiar face behind the bar at the Little Angel pub for many years before he became landlord of The Ship four years ago.
Middlesbrough FC fan Matt, was married to Melanie for five years and was also proud dad to four-year-old Billy and daughter Bethany (12).
He was a big supporter of local fishing and was long-term sponsor of The Ship Inn Open and the Whitby Sea Anglers Association Fishing Club.
Glenn Kilpatrick of Whitby Sea Anglers said: “It is a sad day for us all at Whitby. Matt was a true gent in every sense of the word, a real friend who we will all miss greatly. Our thoughts and condolences are with his lovely family, RIP Matt we will miss you more than words can say.”
Whitby town councillor and close friend Sean Rixham-Smith, and his wife Linda, said: “He was only 32 and it has come as a great shock to a lot of people.
“I had known him for quite a few years, he was a good friend to me.
“We were mates and I know I will miss him a lot. My heart goes out to his family and especially his little boy Billy and daughter Bethany.
“He was a happy chappy, all the time smiling and laughing, nothing seemed to get him down and no matter what happened he would always bounce back but not this time - everybody is heartbroken.
“At the funeral he will want everybody to have a laugh because there were not many bad times, he was a care free, happy go lucky soul.”
Whitby Gazette editor Jon Stokoe said: “I’ve whiled away many an hour chatting to Matt the other side of the bar.
“After a good or bad day, he always had a smile on his face and I never heard him once have a bad word to say about anyone.
“It is a tragedy he has been taken away so young. RIP Matt.”
He leaves a mother and father Terry and Amanda, as well as brother and sister Luke and Angela.
A funeral service will be held at 1pm on Monday at St John’s Church in Brunswick Street followed by cremation in Middlesbrough.
Then there will be drinks in the Friendship Rowing Club for anyone who knew Matt.