Victor McDermott was “a great friend, a great man and a great character that will be sadly missed by a lot of people.”
The 44 year-old’s body was found by a member of the public off Quay Street on Thursday November 28.
More than 100 people attended his funeral in Bolton.
His friend Gary Armstrong was there. He said: “There was about 120 to 150 people there and loads of messages on his Facebook pages from people that were unable to attend.
“We entered the crematorium to Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters. His Eldest brother Adrian read a eulogy speaking of Victor growing up, how he could be very stubborn and at times argumentative but at the same time he would share everything he had with anyone that needed it.
“He left Bolton when he was about 18 as it didn't hold anything for him, for his future aspirations. He toured Europe for a while before returning to England where he signed up to do a law degree at Luton.
“He finished off with this quote from Salman Rushdi, which he said typified what kind of man Vic was - ‘Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world’.
“After a few prayers and words from the priest a lady called Denise stood to read a eulogy of her own.
“She had been with Vic from 2005 to 2010/11. She gave an insight into the type of caring person he was. She told how they had no pets, but Vic always seemed to attract animals wherever he went. If she turned her back for a few minutes he would have dog or something just sitting beside him. He used to go out into their garden every day to feed the birds and they had quite a menagerie after a while.
“She said he came home one day carrying a bird cage, into which he had cut some holes. He explained the sparrows and small birds were being bullied by the bigger birds so couldn't eat their food in peace. He had got the cage so that they could eat in safety, without worrying about the other birds. He still thought they were a bit frightened, so he built a roof over it too.
“He worked on the parks one summer and he took to having his dinner watching the old chaps playing bowls. He ended up befriending one particular old chap. He would sit and chat to him most days, then one morning Denise saw Vic making his lunch and he had two food containers out. He was making the exact same thing twice and putting the same in each box.
“She asked him what he was doing and Vic explained he had seen this chap there at the bowling green for hours each day and had never seen him eating anything. The day before Vic had offered the old guy a sandwich which he took. So from then on Vic made two lunches, one for himself and one for the old guy.
“To everyone that knew him all of the above tells you about Victor. He would always do what he could to help anyone that needed it. He was a bit eccentric and could be really stubborn at times. He had a heart of gold and he was also very intelligent. He would make friends everywhere he went.
“He wasn't a saint, he had his problems but he was a great friend, a great man and a great character that will be sadly missed by a lot of people.”
Two men, Andrew Harling, 44, of Weston Road, Gloucester and Simon Boswell, 48, who are accused of killing Victor, will remain in custody until their next court appearance on March 6.