CROWDS of mourners lined outside Furness General Hospital to pay their respects to a long-serving porter and much-loved dad who died suddenly.

Tributes have been paid to hospital porter Stephen Tranter who died suddenly on October 5 aged 57 years old.

Mr Tranter, who lived in Barrow, was a beloved fiancée of Emma, much-loved dad of Joshua, loving brother and brother-in-law of Paul and Derian, loved uncle and a great friend to many.

Mr Tranter worked as a porter at the A&E department at Furness General Hospital for more than 20 years.

His son Josh said the hospital held a 'special place' in his dad's heart - and wanted the funeral procession to drive past FGH in Dalton Lane so colleagues and friends could bid their farewells.

"We were a bit shocked when we saw how many people were outside the hospital," the 23-year-old shipyard worker said.

"It really hit home then how well loved he was.

"The only person we really would've wanted to see how many people were there was the only person who couldn't. I don't think he realised how well loved he was.

"All of us in the car felt very overwhelmed and grateful that everyone in the hospital had come out and given dad an applause.

"It really touched us all. He loved his job. He really held the hospital close to his heart. It was like his second home."

Mr Tranter described his dad as 'big-hearted' who had 'time for everyone' for met.

He said: "Dad was big-hearted and very kind and funny. He was a proper gent.

"I couldn't have asked for a better dad. He taught me everything I know. We would always watch the football on a Saturday afternoon together and go for some beers after.

"We were very close.

"He loved horse racing, which is why we chose a horse and carriage to be used at his funeral."

The family asked for donations to be made to the hospital's A&E department in memory of Mr Tranter.

"Dad worked at the A&E department at FGH for so long that as a family we wanted to give back to them how we could," Mr Tranter said.

"So we decided to collect donations for the A&E department, which I think is what dad would have wanted."

Mr Tranter said the loss of his dad would 'leave a huge hole' in the family's lives.

He said: "I've been overwhelmed with the amount of messages of supports since dad passed. I had to turn my phone off because I was getting that many.

"He'll leave a big hole in all the lives of people that knew him. Doctors were coming up to me at the funeral saying they don't know what they'll do without him.

"He was always the first one there who knew everything that was going on.

"He'll be very much missed."