TRIBUTES have flooded in for a popular and much-loved South Lakeland man who has died at the age of 32.

Tom Seward, who lived in Burneside all his life, was a keen Manchester United supporter and ‘lived for football’, travelling across the globe to see the team play.

He was a dedicated member of the Westmorland branch of the Manchester United Supporters Club (MUSC) and mum Elizabeth received a letter from United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer upon her son’s death.

It read: “I have been informed, and was deeply saddened to hear, that your dear son Tom recently passed away.

“On behalf of the staff and players at Manchester United, please accept our heartfelt condolences to you, including family and friends, on the loss of your loved one.

“Hold tight to memories for comfort and may the love and support of those around you help you through.”

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Burneside last week for Mr Seward’s funeral procession, with many sporting Manchester United football shirts and holding banners.

A brass band played the hymn ‘Abide with Me’ which is sung at the FA Cup Final each year, and a guard of honour escorted the hearse into Beetham Hall Crematorium.

Friend and fellow Red Devils supporter Fergus Burke, of Manchester, said: “Once this corona crisis is over and we can meet up we’ll be heading back up to Burneside/Kendal to give him a real good send off, one he deserves.

“He was one of life’s good guys, knew how to enjoy it and everyone enjoyed his company, young and old.”

Steve Buswell, of Kendal, a committee member at the MUSC Westmorland branch, said ‘in an ideal world’ Mr Seward and friends would have been in Gdansk, Poland, at the end of May for the Europa League Final.

Mr Buswell said: “Tom was very outgoing.

“He was always the first to the bar! He had a heart of gold, an absolute heart of gold.”

Mr Seward went to St Oswald’s Primary School, Burneside and the Queen Katherine School in Kendal.

Growing up, he was a member of the Cub Scouts, Burneside Brass Band and Burneside Youth Club.

He worked at a number of different places including Hayes Garden World, Ambleside, behind the bar at Burneside Cricket Club and as a joiner for Fallowfield Joinery, Staveley.

His family said his cause of death had not yet been determined.