FRIENDS have paid tribute to Wolston man George Summerfield, who was found dead near the village on Monday.
Those who knew him said the much-loved man with the “twinkle in his eye” will be greatly missed.
Mr Summerfield, of Meadow Street, had lived in the village for 40 years.
He was last seen on March 29.
George’s body was found in a ditch after extensive searches using police, concerned locals, divers and dogs.
Karen Simmons knew George for a number of years and set up a Facebook group to help find him.
She said: “He was a quiet, gentle man who was good company. George had a good sense of humour and he always had a story to tell.”
Karen said he always had a twinkle in his eye.
“I’ve had a lot of people thanking me but I saw this as a team effort,” she added.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much kindness and so much selflessness in people.”
Scores of people who knew George, who lost his wife six years ago, have left messages of condolence on the Facebook page.
Staff and regulars at George’s local the Rose & Crown raised a glass in his memory on Tuesday. Paul Stratton, who works at the pub, said: “Finding out was a bit of a shaker and we are all very saddened by the news.
“Most of us are now just hoping that it was something like a heart attack.”
Det Insp Colin Jones said: “We were determined to find Mr Summerfield, though were hoping that it would be in better circumstances than this.”