Video: Tributes paid to dead man as murder probe is launched

Tributes have been paid to a 'gentle giant' who died after a disturbance at a pub in South Shields.

Police were called to the Prince Edward pub in Prince Edward Road at 11pm last night.

Flowers outside the Prince Edward pub this morning

Flowers outside the Prince Edward pub this morning

A 31-year-old man, who was found unconscious, was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

He has been named locally as Ronnie Howard, a father-of-two.

Family friend Carly Dorothy , 27, told the Gazette: "Ronnie was a big personality, well-known all over the area.

READ MORE: Murder probe update: Man named after five arrested over fatal incident at South Shields pub

Mourners console each other outside the Prince Edward

Mourners console each other outside the Prince Edward

"He had a heart of gold. He was a gentle giant.

"I just can't believe it has happened. Everyone is absolutely heart-broken.

"The family are all in bits. Everyone is just trying to stay strong."

Five men - aged 58, 33, 31, 30, and 26 - have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are currently in police custody.

The scene at the rear of the Prince Edward

The scene at the rear of the Prince Edward

A group of people, who are believed to be relations, visited the scene this morning and left floral tributes addressed to 'Ronnie.'

One card bore two messages. The first read: "Words can't describe how I feel. Huge void in my life. X" while the second said: "Shine bright with the stars, love you always, Maria."