TRIBUTES have been paid to a former soldier from Urmston who has died.

Cpl Dean Corbett joined the army as an 18-year-old and had two tours to Afghanistan, with his first being in 2009 and then another in 2012 before he left in 2017.

Family have described the 32-year-old as a ‘war hero’ after he died on August 16 and they have been inundated with messages of support from the community.

A GoFundMe page was set up by the family for the funeral arrangements for the former St Monica’s Primary School in Flixton pupil and nearly 300 people have donated.

More than £6,700 has been raised to give him the send-off he deserved.

Mum Karen Hessing has led a rallying call for friends and family to attend the funeral.

She said: “He was a comedian, joking and messing around and was always the life and soul of the party.

“Dean played poker in the the Steamhouse and The Garrick pub in Urmston.

“He learned to play the flute in the Army and was a self-taught guitar player.

“He was a well-known character and will be greatly missed.”

His funeral is taking place on September 18 and mourners are being told to line the streets of Winchester Road from 10am as they travel along, Croft’s Bank Road and Flixton Road towards English Martyrs Church for the service at 11am.

Karen said: “Due to Covid there will only be 30 people allowed at the church but a screen will be set up outside the church for those who cannot go inside. After the church service we will be taking Dean to Urmston Crematorium.”

The former Blessed Thomas Holford School pupil leaves his mother, Karen, five-year-old son Lewis, two sisters, Faye and Abigail, and brother Jacob behind.

Karen said Dean was struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and it is believed he committed suicide.

He was close friends with Lee Rigby and was one of the pallbearers at his funeral. His father also took his own life in 2019.

Faye Corbett, Dean’s sister, said: “Dean had a history of untreated mental illness.

“We repeatedly asked him to get help, and following his referral he had his initial 'over the phone' screening with the mental health team only a few weeks ago. Unfortunately he didn’t make it to his next session."

Dean had pledged to seek help for the sake of his son Lewis.

But Faye added: "We are so sad that it wasn’t soon enough."

Karen added: “He lived for his son Lewis and love playing football.

"We have lots of messages on Facebook paying tribute telling us that he will never be forgotten.

"They have told us that when he was a corporal in Afghanistan that he was great at keeping the morale of the troops up.

“We are expecting more than 300 people and want them to all social distance to pay their respects.