A COMMUNITY is in shock after the death of an apparently fit and healthy 31-year-old from a suspected heart attack.

Tributes have flooded in for Qamar Ul-Islam who died suddenly at his home in Hartley Street in Nelson on Monday.

Around 2,000 people turned up to pay their respects to the former Edge End High school pupil at his funeral at Nelson's main mosque yesterday.

His cousin Mohammed Ayaz said Qamar had no previous health problems and that all of his family and friends were devastated by his death.

He said: “He was sitting with his nephew at the computer, filling in an online application and all of a sudden his head went back and he gasped for breath.

“His nephew thought he was playing a prank at first, but then they realised he had passed away.

“He was with all his family at home chatting away, talking, and then all of a sudden his heart stopped and he was dead.”

The family tried to resuscitate Qamar and called for an ambulance, which took him to Royal Blackburn Hospital, but paramedics were unable to revive him.

Mohammed said: “The ambulance came within seconds, but he wasn’t responding.”

Qamar also attended Nelson & Colne College, before graduating from Staffordshire University with a BEng (Hons) degree. He then became a software engineer, and worked for HBOS in Halifax as a Test Analyst.

His cousin said: “He was so popular. He was just a guy who always had a smile on his face.

"There were friends from his school, college, work and university, Muslim friends and Christian friends at his funeral.

“They were all shocked, he was such a lovely guy. He was fine, there was nothing wrong with him at all.

“He was just a normal guy, doing normal things, getting ready for Christmas and New Year, and just all of a sudden, it was such a sudden death - within seconds.

“He was a healthy guy, he was young and fit, I can’t understand it.

“He liked travelling a lot, he enjoyed life and he’d do anything for anybody.

“There was no distance that we wouldn’t go for anybody, I loved him to bits, he was always there for me and I’m just going to miss him a lot.”

Another of Qamar’s cousins, Mohsin Illyas, also paid tribute to him.

He said: “Qamar Ul-Islam was an exceptional brother, an extremely loving uncle and an iconic friend.

“In the few years he had among us his smiles, sincere nature and passion for helping others has touched the hearts of all who had the privileged to meet him.

“His friends and family will testify that all they have to live with now are the countless memories he has created with us all.

“We have never met anyone that could fulfil responsibilities to so many with a smile and there will be never another like him.

“A role model, beautiful person and now truly for those that knew him, an unforgettable legend. ”

Teachers from Qamar’s former school also spoke highly of him.

Mrs Dawes, assistant headteacher of Marsden Heights Community College, which formed when Edge End High School merged with Mansfield High School, described Qamar as a 'hard-working, consciencious and popular student.'

A spokeswoman from Blackburn coroner’s office said that an investigation was currently underway to determine the cause of his death.