Tributes have been rolling in for fell-running icon Joss Naylor MBE.

Joss, 88, died on Friday night (June 28) surrounded by friends and family.

Read more: Joss Naylor MBE, legendary fell runner, dies aged 88 | The Mail (

He called the Lake District his home and, over the years, became synonymous with the fells in which he made his name.

A spokesperson from the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team said: "Joss is a huge inspiration to Wasdale MR Team members past and present.

"We also thank him for serving as the team's Honorary Vice-President for many years. Our sincere condolences to his many friends and family."

Alex Staniforth, the founder of Mind over Mountains, described him as one of his 'running heroes'.

He added: "I read his book a few years ago and was blown away by the scale of what he'd achieved, especially after a chronic back injury that would sometimes cause him to pass out after races with the pain.

"I was lucky enough to go for a walk with the man himself around Grasmere which I'll never forget - I was intimidated at first by this renowned Cumbrian legend but was humbled by his stories and modesty.

"Few people will ever comprehend what he achieved. Thanks for everything Joss."

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.

In 1975, in what was seen as his greatest accomplishment, he 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 the feat had already earned its place firmly in the record books.

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, he also leaves behind a son Paul.

Stuart Ferguson, the Chairman of the Fell Runners Association, described how his title as 'King of Fells' was a true reflection on the man.

"We are hugely saddened by the news that the legend that is Joss Naylor has passed away," he said.

"Joss inspired so many and will forever be remembered for what he gave to our unique sport."

Joss was also branded as an 'inspiration' by politician Tim Farron, who commented: "So sad to hear of Joss Naylor’s passing.

"He was such a fantastic advocate for the Lakes, the inspiration for generations of fell runners, and a kind and gentle man."