Popular man found dead in canal

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Heartbroken friends are rallying round to pay for the funeral of a young man whose body was mysteriously found in the canal.

Gary Pender’s bicycle was spotted on the towpath at Great Linford early on Saturday morning.

The former Leon School pupil’s body was found in the water just under the bridge on Marsh Drive.

Police say there was no foul play and believe it was a tragic accident.

But mystified friends, who had last seen 29-year-old Gary on Wednesday evening, cannot understand how it happened.

“Gary was a very fit man and a strong swimmer. It all seems very strange,” said one.

An inquest into Gary’s death is due to open tomorrow, but for his friends the immediate priority is to raise £3,500 to pay for his funeral.

“Gary’s mum died when he was young. There is just his two brothers, so we’re all chipping in what we can so he can have a decent funeral,” said another friend.

He added: “Gary was a popular person with loads of friends. He had a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone.

“Now it is our turn to help him have a decent send off.”

The funeral is being organised by Heritage and Sons in Vicarage Road, Bletchley.