Reuben Smith, a 24-year-old childhood friend of Mr Brown, has set up a JustGiving page to help pay for his funeral and raise money for a memorial train at Bluebell Railway.

The page has already beaten its £1,000 goal, having raised almost £1,500.

Mr Smith, who works as a rail conductor, said: "We met on the Bluebell Railway. We were volunteers since we were about 12 or 13.

"He was a lovely bloke, happy and smiley, very much a glass-half-full kind of man. I last saw him about a month ago when we were at the railway and I was on the train and he was on the engine.

"There was nothing wrong with the guy and he was happy and fine when I saw him. We talked about nothing really. I heard about his death yesterday through some friends and I'm still in shock."

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