Video: Tributes paid to dead man as murder probe is launched
Tributes have been paid to a 'gentle giant' who died after a disturbance at a pub in South Shields.
Police were called to the Prince Edward pub in Prince Edward Road at 11pm last night.
A 31-year-old man, who was found unconscious, was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
He has been named locally as Ronnie Howard, a father-of-two.
Family friend Carly Dorothy , 27, told the Gazette: "Ronnie was a big personality, well-known all over the area.
"He had a heart of gold. He was a gentle giant.
"I just can't believe it has happened. Everyone is absolutely heart-broken.
"The family are all in bits. Everyone is just trying to stay strong."
Five men - aged 58, 33, 31, 30, and 26 - have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are currently in police custody.
A group of people, who are believed to be relations, visited the scene this morning and left floral tributes addressed to 'Ronnie.'
One card bore two messages. The first read: "Words can't describe how I feel. Huge void in my life. X" while the second said: "Shine bright with the stars, love you always, Maria."