Tributes have been paid to a ‘hero’ shopping centre security guard who has died suddenly aged 55.

Munir Qureshi worked at Accrington Arndale and died following a cardiac arrest. He had been working at the centre for 17 years and was a well-known face to shoppers in the town.

A family statement sent by his daughter Sadaf read: "He was hardworking, kind, polite, intelligent and pure hearted. He always passed everyone with a smile and had genuine love for everyone.

"He knew many people and was well known and respected in the community.

"If anybody could help, my dad would help. He was our best friend and the best dad anyone could ask for. We are eternally grateful for everything he did for us and hope to make him proud."

Hassan Iqbal, centre manager at Arndale Shopping Centre, Accrington said: “Munir was a respectful, hardworking, loyal colleague and a wonderful friend of mine.

“I have many great memories of him. He was also a popular character in Accrington.

"Munir’s friendly and welcoming personality will be missed by all here at the Arndale.

“I am also grateful for the immense support received during this difficult time.”

The funeral prayers for Munir have taken place at the Raza Mosque in Accrington and the burial was held later at Pleasington Cemetery in Blackburn.

Munir was one of two security people who received a top police award after rescuing a man who had threatened to take his own life.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Munir Qureshi, right, alongside Mr Iqbal (above) were presented with the divisional commander’s commendations after they intervened when a man climbed onto the edge of the top deck of the car park and said he would jump off on in July 2016.

The staff went to the man’s assistance when he was standing on the parapet of the third floor of the centre threatening to jump.

At the time centre manager Mr Kiyani praised the actions of the pair in the difficult situation.

He said: “The commendations they received reflect Munir and Hassan’s exceptional behaviour in going the extra mile to save a young man’s life.

“Having worked with the Samaritans to provided training for out on-site team in how to deal with those threatening suicide, we are very proud of Munir and Hassan’s bravery in putting theory into practice when faced with a difficult situation.”

The divisional commander’s commendations are awards given to people or groups to "recognise exceptional service" they have carried out.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Munir Qureshi (right) recieved the divisional commander's commendation from Lancashire Police for their bravery in 2017

Chief Superintendent Matt Horne, divisional commander for East Division said at the time: “It is one thing for a police officer to put themselves in harm’s way in the service of others, but quite another for a member of the public to step forward.

"I am grateful for their help in this case.

“I have no doubt that the brave and selfless actions of Messrs Qureshi and Iqbal saved the life of a very vulnerable young man.”

Munir Qureshi leaves behind a wife, two daughters, a son and a granddaughter.