HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a Flintshire father-of-one found dead on New Year’s Day.

Robbie Gallacher, 23, from Mold died suddenly in the town.

The former Alun School pupil was a keen judo player and had a young daughter called Evie.

He left school after finishing Year 11 in 2003 and went on to become a retained firefighter in Mold.

John Bell, head of the pastoral system at the Alun, said: “We are very sad to hear this news. I remember him as an excellent sportsman.

“He was a very outgoing character who was well liked by all the staff. He always had a big smile on his face.

“We remember him fondly as a very fit lad, he could turn his hand to anything, but judo was his sport.

"He was an excellent judo player who represented his country and at one time he was in the top group for his age.”

More than 800 people have joined a Facebook tribute page set up in Mr Gallacher's memory.

On the site Kyle Foley wrote: “Robbie mate. I think I can speak for us all when I say you are one of a kind and someone we will never forget ever.

"You’re a true legend and will be sadly missed. RIP matey.”

Grant Fletcher added: “Rest in peace Robbie. It was a pleasure to have trained with you at Wigan Judo Club.

"You will definitely be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless.”

Another friend, Andy Griffith wrote: “Still cannot believe this. My thoughts go out to your family at this unbelievably sad time. Will miss seeing you around mate.”

Friends on the site have discussed organising a collection in his memory for Evie for when she turns 18.

A spokesman for British Judo said: "British Judo is extremely saddened by the loss of Robbie Gallacher.

"A talented judo player, Robbie will be missed by players and coaches alike."

Robbie leaves behind his parents, sister Laura, daughter Evie and partner, Sophie.

If you would like to leave your own tribute to Robbie please post a message below.