Fell running legend Joss Naylor MBEhas died at the age of 88, it has been announced.

The runner, who was best known for his accomplishments and record-breaking triumphs in the sport, died on Friday night surrounded by friends and family.

Bosses at Ambleside outdoors shop The Climbing Shop announced the news on social media, saying: "It is a sad loss to fell running community.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Joss Naylor MBE on Friday evening, 28th June, in the company of friends and family."

The icon called the Lake District his home, having been born in 1936 in Middle Row Farm of Wasdale Head, before attending school in Gosforth.

He first took up running back in 1960, eventually going on to claim his first triumph in 1966 in the Mountain Trail.

Read more: Legend of the fells returns in his eighties to finish his 1962 Lake District Mountain Trail | The Mail (nwemail.co.uk)

In 1975, in what was seen as his greatest accomplishment, Naylor completed the 72 Peaks - a route of over 100 miles and about 38,000 feet of ascent - in 23 hours and 20 minutes.

This record would stand for 13 years up until 1988, though Naylor's feat had already earned its place firmly in the record books.

Naylor pictured in 2019 doing what he loved mostNaylor pictured in 2019 doing what he loved most (Image: Brathay)

Whilst he worked as a farmer for a large part of his life, his love for the fells never ceased, prompting him to create the Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge, an event open to over-fifties. 

It was a dedicated that was honoured with an MBE for services to sport and charity in 2007.

Married to his beloved Mary in 1963, Naylor also leaves behind a son, Paul.

Joss at a Millom Parkrun event in 2021 (Image: Submitted)

Since the news broke, countless people have taken to social media to pay tribute to an icon of the sport.

One fan commented: "So saddened to hear the news of the passing of Joss Naylor yesterday. In the world of fell running, his legendary status is unparalleled."

Another added: "The word legend is often used too lightly nowadays - RIP Joss Naylor MBE, you really were and always will be a legend.

"I’ve no doubt he’s running about in the heavens looking down upon his ancestral home of Wasdale."