A ‘POPULAR and charming’ 25-year-old engineer has been found dead at his London flat.

Former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil George Paul Howarth had moved to the capital in April to start a new job and be closer to his girlfriend.

Yesterday his parents Steven, and Maureen, both aged 59, spoke of how their only son's death had shattered their lives.

Hundreds of tributes have also been paid to George, with friends describing him as 'charismatic and funny’ and a ‘true gentleman’.

Speaking from the family home in Whins Lane, Simonstone his parents, Steven, and Maureen, said he was ‘the most sociable person you could wish to meet’.

His father, who runs an information management company, said: "He had so much going well for him. He loved cooking music and sports.

"We feel an incredible loss. He was everything to everybody, young and old.

"It is something that we will never be able to fully recover from.

"George was the light of our future and we were expecting him to look after us when we got older, but now he has gone.

"We were a very active family unit and we were inseparable on holiday. His death has absolutely devastated our lives.

Mrs Howarth, a teacher at St John Thursby, Burnley, and Bowland High School, Clitheroe, said: "George was our only son and his death has had an impact on so many people's lives because he was such a popular and charismatic young man.

"He was gregarious and the most sociable person you could wish to meet. We will miss him forever."

The former pupil at St Christopher's CofE High School, Accrington, also attended Lancaster Royal Grammar school, before finishing his studies in Clitheroe.

He then took up an engineering apprenticeship at textile manufacturing firm, BMP Europe in Altham.

And in April this year he moved to Battersea and started a new job at another engineering firm on the same day as his girlfriend, Charlotte Wilson, from Whalley.

She said: "We were so happy. I love you George with all my heart. I wish you had known how much I will miss you."

The Burnley FC supporter was found dead at his home on Sunday.

An inquest into his death has been opened and adjourned at Battersea Coroner's Office.

There were no suspicious circumstances.

A post-mortem examination was set to be carried out by pathologists, before George's body is returned to his family today.

Scores of heartfelt messages have been left for the 'talented' engineer on social networking site, Facebook, on a dedicated page set up by his cousin, Sarah Leighton, from Chorley.

The funeral will take place on Thursday November, 10, at St John's Church, George Lane, Read at 10.30am. A wake will be held afterwards at the Read and Simonstone Constitutional Club.

All donations to go to the charity MIND via Alderson and Horan Funeral Services, 128 Rossendale Road, Burnley, Lancashire BB11 5DH.