TRIBUTES to a Huntingdon man who was the heart and soul of the community though confined to a wheelchair most of his life have poured in following his death last month.

A large number of mourners are expected to attend the funeral of Danny Peacock tomorrow. Danny passed away at Hinchingbrooke Hospital on March 17 after a short illness.

A former resident of The Manor Cheshire Home in Brampton, Danny, aged 47, moved to a flat in Huntingdon two years ago where he lived independently with help from the Papworth Trust.

A keen performer, he helped to set up amateur dramatics group The Manor Revellers while living at The Manor Cheshire Home. He was also an avid campaigner for disabled rights and spent some time appealing for better access to businesses.

His twin brother David, an IT consultant for a construction company, said Danny's recent move to an independent flat was a dream come true. The family are asking for donations to be made to the Papworth Trust in Danny's memory.

David said: "He really liked it there. He was afraid he was not going to get there, because of his level of disability, but he managed it. He was a very strong and independent person. He did a lot of things. He passed exams in word-processing and got awards. He achieved what he could do.

"His Christmas card list was more like a database. There were 700 people he was writing to for Christmas and birthdays. We used to say 'how do you know so many people?' He was in contact with a lot of people. There have been a flood of tributes to him on Facebook."

A childhood accident left Danny with severe spinal injuries. He was initially treated at Huntingdon Community Hospital and was later cared for at home, before going to a special educational needs school in Ilford, Essex.

Huntingdonshire chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses Malcolm Lyons helped Danny set up the drama group while volunteering at The Manor Cheshire Home nearly 15 years ago.

The group performed annually at the home and at the village hall in Brampton, before disbanding a few years ago.

Mr Lyons said: "My first reaction to Danny was that he was a man of great character, despite his disability, and he always had a smile. Danny was full of chat, which resulted in many long discussions about the arts.

"From these discussions, we decided to form a drama group from the residents in the Manor. Danny was the leading light, and was always enthusiastic."

Danny is survived by his mother Mavis, elder brother Douglas, sister Lorraine, and cousins Susanne, Kevin and Denise.

INFORMATION: The funeral service will take place at Huntingdon Methodist Church on Friday (April 8) at 2.30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.