A man who was fatally stabbed in the neck during a 20-minute street fight was expecting his second child with his wife.
David Gavin’s family say their lives have been “torn apart” following his death in Rochdale on Friday evening.
Police have now launched a murder investigation following the killing, the Manchester Evening News reported.
It has been revealed that his wife Bridget, 22, was due to give birth to their second daughter any day.
David, who worked as a landscape gardener, lived in London before moving to Rochdale. He leaves behind Bridget and daughter Elizabeth, three.
Bridget, known as ‘Bridgey’ and by maiden name Reilly, is said to be too devastated to speak about her husband’s death.
David’s distraught brother Martin, 18, described his sibling as the ‘rock of the family’.
Speaking outside his ‘lovely’ brother’s home, which has become shrine, Martin told the Manchester Evening News: “It has destroyed this family. They’ve taken a really good man.
“He was someone who would go out of his way to help a stranger. He was a well-loved bloke in Rochdale, he’s loved everywhere. He was salt of the earth; a hardworking man.
“I don’t think there will be anyone else like him.”
David’s father-in-law Bill Reilly, who was in Jamaica when he heard the tragic news, said he was ‘heartbroken’.
He immediately booked a flight home to be with his daughter and grandchild.
Paying tribute to David, Bill said: “He was my son-in-law and my best friend. I loved him like a son.
“There won’t be another son-in-law as good as him. He really was a lovely man. It’s heartbreaking.
“He was trying to make a home for my daughter and kids. [Bridget] is so shocked.
“I’m literally in a state of shock myself. I’m devastated.
“I need to be there for my daughter.”
Dozens of people posted pictures of David as they paid tribute on Facebook .
The incident has left a community in shock.
Officers were called to reports of a fight, on Berwick Street, off Milnrow Road, just before 9pm on Friday.
It is believed the fight lasted for around 20 minutes before police were called. David was knifed in the neck. He later died in hospital.
A 25-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder and assault. She remains in custody for questioning.
Det Chief Insp Cheryl Chatterton of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: “This incident escalated extremely quickly before we were called to the area and sadly, we’re now dealing with the death of a man.
“While our investigation into the circumstances that led to him losing his life continues, his family are being offered support from specialists as they deal with the tragic news.
“Part of our enquiries will mean there is some disruption in the local area but we will try and keep this to a minimum and thank the public in advance for their cooperation.
“It was getting dark around the time of the incident last night so I appreciate there may not have been many people in the area but should you have seen something, whatever it is, please get in touch with us.
“We already know that a number of people in the area heard the disturbance so if you do have something to tell us but you’ve not yet got in touch with us, please do so at your earliest opportunity.”