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A young man killed by a falling tree amid strong winds has today been described as “the most loving and caring man” by his devastated girlfriend.

Darnell Cordingley, 26, was pronounced dead shortly after the freak accident in Sale, Greater Manchester, on Thursday afternoon.

The man’s girlfriend Alex Calvert has led the tributes, following his death, describing him as her ‘angel’ and ‘a true gentleman’.

Alex, who was friends with Darnell for a long time before getting into a relationship with him earlier this year, told the Manchester Evening News: “He was the most loving and caring man I have ever met. He lit up every room he walked into.

“There are not enough words in the world I can string together to express just how much I miss and love this man. He was definitely a true gentleman.

“I would give the world to him if I could. To me, he was worth the whole universe and more. He will always and forever have the most special place in my heart. I love him. I will never forget the previous months I was honoured to spend with my angel.”

One of Darnell’s closest friends, Kayleigh Noone, also paid her respects.

“Darnell was simply the whole group,” she said.

“His character carried the group, when ever he was out we all knew we would have a good night. He was so kind and caring and always made sure everyone was okay.

“He was so full of life. To see such a confident and happy person lose his life so suddenly is heartbreaking.

“To find someone with a heart as pure as D’s is so rare. I’m at a loss for words. We all had plans for the weekend and when his partner called me to tell me, we couldn’t believe it. He truly will be missed.

“Darnell is too precious to be forgotten and too priceless to ever replace and his memory will forever live on within the group.

“We will all cherish the memories we got to make and all the times we spend together, and we are so blessed to have been a part of his life. My heart goes out to all his family and other friends. Rest in peace D.”

One of Darnell’s primary school friends, Ashley Leadbeater added: “He was always willing to help people and was a good friend to many. He always tried to encourage me to do the right thing and wanted the best for me.

“He always smiled and laughed, even when times were difficult for him. He will be missed dearly.”

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are investigating into how the tree fell and are asking any witnesses to come forward. “Police responded to an incident on Darley Street at around 3.30pm on Thursday 6 October to reports of a fallen tree,” a force spokesman said.

“Emergency services immediately assisted at the scene where two males were found injured, one had injuries that were not life threatening and sadly a 26-year-old man was pronounced deceased a short time later despite the best attempts of those in attendance.

“The family are being supported by specially-trained officers during this difficult time. Detectives are now appealing for information, including witnesses and any doorbell footage, to help with the investigation to understand the full circumstances.”

Detective Inspector Jennifer Reeve, of the Trafford division, added: “This is a devastating incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends affected at this difficult time, especially of the man who sadly lost his life. I would also like to thank the public who tried to help at the time immediately after the incident happened, their actions were brave and appreciated by all the emergency services.

“We are continuing with our enquiries at this time to understand how the tree fell and are appealing for anyone in the local area to get in touch if they feel they have any information that may help.”