Hereford Buttermarket workers are among many people in the city mourning the death of a popular fishmonger.

People have paid tribute to David Benjamin, who died at Hereford County Hospital on Sunday.

The 56-year-old from Whitecross first appeared behind the counter at DJ Benjamin and Sons in the 1960s.

The married father-of-three was “part of the furniture”, according to Buttermarket traders.

Fellow trader Charles Nicholls, of Schooldays Plus, said the market was in shock following the death.

Mike Phillips, of neighbouring Phillips and Preece butchers, described Mr Benjamin as a “generous man” and fantastic bloke.

“He was a great neighbour – he was always laughing and joking and would do anything for anyone,” said Mr Phillips.

Len Tawn, chairman of the Buttermarket independent traders association, said: “We’ve lost a valuable part of the market – he was respected, wellliked and a valuable member of the community.

The former Cathedral School pupil was a keen sportsman and played full back for Hereford Rugby Club for 20 years.

Guy Griffiths, honorary rugby chairman, said Mr Benjamin was a true “club man”

who became steward, seconds captain and chairman. “He was a true friend, not only to his family and Hereford Rugby Club, but to many other Herefordians,”

said Mr Griffiths.

Mr Benjamin recently served as a councillor in the St Nicholas ward.

Leader Councillor Kevin Wargen said Mr Benjamin was “passionate” about the city centre and would be greatly missed.

“David will leave a legacy as someone who cared very much for Hereford and who always went the extra mile,” he said.

Mr Benjamin leaves his wife Nina, children Nicholas, Robert and Anna, his mother Joyce and younger brother Jimmy. His funeral will be at Hereford Cathedral at 1pm on Friday, July 30.