Mike Jones' former school and university have paid tribute to the youth football coach who was stabbed to death in New York yesterday.
Simon Bland, the 25-year-old's PE teacher at Tarleton High School, Lancashire, told local newspaper The Champion:
– PE teacher Simon Bland
He had a lot of natural talent. But unlike a lot of people who are good at sport he wasn't big-headed or full of himself in any way - he just got on with it, and was quiet, but very professional and talented ... he was someone you could use as a role model for the younger pupils, because he not only had a lot of natural ability, but he had a great attitude too.
A spokesperson for Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, which Mr Jones graduated from in 2008, added:
– Edge Hill University spokesperson
He was a hardworking student who was popular with his peers and with staff from the Department of Sport and Physical Activity. He had a bright future ahead of him, having a forged a successful coaching career in the USA following his graduation.