HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to popular local fundraiser David Barnes, with many saying “the village of Little Broughton will never be the same”.

David – known to everyone as Barny – was 53 when he died.

His wife Shirley said he inspired affection from all: “I’ve never heard a bad word said about Barny by anyone. People would always ask me how the big lad was doing, hoping he was well because they genuinely enjoyed his company.”

His family also told of his mischievous side coming out at an early age – aged six he locked his entire school out of the main building.

David and Shirley married in 1988. Their first child Rikki was born that year, and two years later they welcomed daughter Stacey.

He was a delighted grandfather to Harry and Jack, with Rikki’s third child now on the way.

In his free time, David was prop for Broughton Red Rose where he was “a force to be reckoned with”.

His friendly nature complemented the camaraderie of sport, as he was always at the front of the bus “rallying the troops.”

He had battled with Multiple Myeloma since 2015 but his positive attitude and the toughness he showed on the rugby field shone through. Daughter Stacey said: “He fought it like an absolute Viking. He really prided himself on his strength of character and body.”

With the help of friends and family, David raised thousands for Myeloma UK. In June, the Barnes family hit £17,067.45.

Claire Houghton, director of fundraising at Myeloma UK, said: “Everyone here would like to pass on our sincere condolences to David Barnes’ family. He raised an incredible amount of money for us and we are indebted to supporters such as David and his family who help us undertake important research and patient support.”

A funeral service will be held tomorrow at 1.30pm at Christ Church, Little Broughton, followed by cremation at Distington Hall at 2.45pm. Donations are being welcomed to Myeloma UK and the Henderson Suite.