Thousands of pounds have been raised for a dad who died just days into the new year.

Michael Roach, known as "Mike", died on January 8 after a short battle with Covid-19 but was described as otherwise fit and healthy.

The 56-year-old, from Formby, was a member of the KUGB and was a Sensei to many students over his 40 years of service at the Formby Shotokan Karate Club.

He had been training up until Christmas time but fell ill shortly after.

Now, a GoFundMe page set up in his memory has raised over £2,000 to help his family pay for his funeral.

Mike, who has one son and a granddaughter, was described as a "great man" and a "lovely, genuine guy" by those who knew him.

On Facebook, ECHO readers also paid tribute to Mike.

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Kerry Howard said: "Used to come in the cafe all the time, lovely genuine guy, thinking of his family, rip Mike."

Sue Bradley also said: "He used to teach my son Karate. R.I.P Mike.

"Taken far too young."

On the ECHO site, Liverpoollad91 said it was a pleasure to have known Mike.

Michael Roach was described as a 'wonderful man' and 'dedicated sensei'

They added: "What a pleasure it was to have known such a great man and all the words that have described you couldn’t be any truer.

"You where not only a colleague but also a good friend and you are sadly missed Mike.

"I send my deepest sympathy to Val and family may you rest in peace."

Dave Wilson, from Maghull, had been a friend of Mike’s for more than 30 years. The 55-year-old said he would train with Mike weekly at the karate club.

Michael Roach died aged 56 after a short battle of covid

He said: "He was a well known figure around the village - everyone knew Mike.

"He was a generous guy, patient, he would do a lot of things for anyone, all you had to do was ask."

Dave said that Mike had been fit and active and had trained in the karate club right up until Christmas. He'd last saw Mike when he was giving out chocolates to club members over the festive period.

He said: "He used to buy the kids chocolate and Easter eggs for Christmas and Easter, that’s just the type of man he was, and he was giving them out before Christmas.

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"He was training right up till Christmas too but he took a turn for the worst after that.

"But usually he was an active guy and fit, he used to train a lot and he’d do big 30 mile bike rides just a year ago too."

Dave added: "He was the life and soul of the party always, he was always out and laughing, he’d always enjoy himself and life in general."

You can donate to Mike's GoFundMe page HERE.