Tributes have been paid to a popular Blackburn businessman who has died aged 44.

Amjad Shah was injured in a crash near Coventry earlier in the year but he is believed to have died of a heart attack.

Mr Shah owned a private ambulance service for mental health patients and was well known throughout the Audley area of the town.

He died on Monday only days before the Eid festival which takes place this week. The funeral took place on Tuesday.

Tributes were posted online and shared across social media for ‘a gentle giant’ who always put the needs of others before himself.

Audley and Queens Park councillor Zamir Khan: “On Sunday we were out and we went the shop his family run – the Shah Silk Store on Audley Range and I asked about him. Then I was shocked to hear of his passing a day later.

“He was a very caring person and he would always go out of his way to assist others. I spoke to him several weeks ago and he seemed to be in good spirits.”

Former councillor Faryad Hussain said: “I’m really shocked to hear this sad news that our brother Amjad Shah has passed away. May Allah grant him the highest abode in Jannat (heaven).

Zahid Shah posted: “My cousin and dear brother Amjad Ali Shah of Audley Range Blackburn has returned to his lord.

“Please remember my brother in your duas (prayers) as he starts his journey to the hereafter.”

Friends said that Mr Shah had been aiming to assist with charity appeals only days before his death.

Naseem Khan, who runs a number of charity appeals, said: “He was the kind-hearted gentleman and he will be missed.

“I have known Amjad for a very, very long and he was a friendly giant with a great heart. Even recently, after he had his accident, we also spoke a lot. Only recently he commented that he wanted to donate to a mosque project on my Facebook page. It was the type of man he was and wanted to support charitable projects where he could.

“It is a huge loss to the community.”

Friend Shakeel Choudhry said: “I spoke to a dear college friend, brother of mine and great supporter of my charitable projects on Saturday evening and we discussed the cake auctions we were having for charity. He assured me he would make some donations on the Monday morning after speaking to his business partner.

“Sadly, Monday morning God had other plans for him and he returned to our creator.

Mr Choudhry added: “On a beautiful ending note, speaking to his cousin, he has fulfilled his last intention and donated £150 to the Yemen appeal and £100 for the Leo appeal.”

Another friend posted on Facebook, “I have known Amjad since primary school. He was a gentle giant and a very private person. Just goes to show how worthless this life is compared to the real one in the hereafter. It’s Monday and Hajj month and in the last 10 days. He obviously has been favoured by our lord.”