First picture of man found dead in Manchester canal on Boxing Day morning

First picture of man found dead in Manchester canal on Boxing Day morning

The man found dead in a Manchester Canal on Boxing Day morning has been identified as 51-year-old Anthony ‘Tony’ Lawless.

Police pulled his body from the canal in Ancoats, central Manchester at 9am, hours after he was released from hospital following a collapse.

Tony was said to be a ‘grafter’ who had worked for years at a local marked and was well liked around his hometown.

He had battled alcoholism for many years as he struggled to cope with the death of his father, reports the MEN.

He was sleeping rough at the time of the tragic discovery.

Following his death, his family paid tribute to the ‘private and polite’ man, who grew up in Collyhurst.

Tony’s sister Diane Brennan said: "When the drink took hold of him he changed, but other than that he was alright. Everyone who knew him said he was very, very polite.

"He was lovely. When my dad died, he hit the bottle."

Nephew Colin Brennan said: "He was a grafter when he put his mind to it, and a loving uncle."

Diane last saw her brother on Christmas Day, when she accompanied him to North Manchester General Hospital in an ambulance after he collapsed.

She had assumed he was still there and was not told otherwise, so was stunned when police contacted her to say he had been found dead.

Tony usually slept rough in Harpurhey, and his sister is at a loss to understand how he came to be in the city centre.

Diane added: "That’s what we don’t understand, how did he make it from North Manchester to there, when he had no money?

"I said ‘why the heck did they let him out?’ knowing he was falling down."

Now the family is facing the daunting prospect of having to arrange Tony’s funeral.

Diane added: "I know I can’t afford to pay for it and I don’t want him left in the morgue."

Greater Manchester Police say an investigation has been launched into Tony’s death.

Inspector Mark Allinson of GMP’s City of Manchester District said: “This is a very sad morning, we have recovered the body of a man from the canal, which is all the more difficult given the time of year.

“If anyone witnessed anything that could help with our enquiries, please contact police as soon as you can quoting log number 679 of 26 December 2018."

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