Friends tribute to Eccles taxi driver 'just in Syria to help'

British hostage Alan Henning was killed by the Islamic State after being captured on an aid mission. Credit: ITV News

Friends of murdered British hostage Alan Henning are reeling from the news of his brutal death at the hands of Islamist terror group Isis.

Born in the Eccles area of Salford, 45-year-old Henning leaves behind wife Barbara, and two teenage children: 17-year-old Lucy and 15-year-old Adam.

He had been working as a taxi driver fro more than a decade, and first became involved in helping the people of Syria around two years ago.

In 2012 he took his first trip to deliver aid, driving in a convoy of ambulances filled with medical and other supplies to the Turkish border with the country.

On the second trip Mr Henning crossed the border to deliver the aid deeper inside and within an hour the convoy was captured.

He was singled out, separated from the others and taken hostage.

Alan Henning's wife had pleaded for him to be released. Credit: ITV News

Friends say Alan Henning was never involved in politics or talked about current affairs or religion, and was a cheerful, happy personality, always eager to help others

Smiling for the cameras, Mr Henning was filmed at the Turkish border before he was captured saying his sacrifices were nothing compared to what was being endured by the Syrian people in their attempts to overthrow the Assad regime.

Kasim Jameel, a friend from Salford said he was with Mr Henning on the final trip, and helped get him involved in the aid missions to Syria

He said he could not understand why he was targeted, and would not discuss the actual kidnapping.

Alan Henning was delivering medical and other supplies to Syria. Credit: Family handout

Martyn Shedwick, a friend who helped repair one of the donated ambulances driven to Syria, said Alan was truly one of life's good people, and was just in Syria to help.