The family of Christopher McManus, the British hostage killed in Nigeria, have paid tribute to to him on the day of his funeral, as someone who had a "heart of gold".
"Today is a sad and emotional day for our entire family as we say goodbye to Chris. But it is also a day for us to celebrate Chris’s life and remember our loving son, brother, boyfriend and true friend to many."
Chris McManus was taken captive by terrorists with his Italian colleague Franco Lamolinara nine months ago. Both men are believed to have been killed by their captors earlier this month after a bungled rescue operation by British forces.
His family told on Friday morning, in a statement released through the foreign office, how he had a "heart of gold" as they asked the media to respect their privacy.
More than 600 people gathered to pay their respects at the funeral service of the 28-year-old from Oldham, Greater Manchester, who was killed earlier this month.
In a eulogy to him read out on their behalf at Oldham's Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Patrick RC Church, his parents Michael and Laura said: "He felt lucky in making friends in all areas of his life. He was able to establish long-lasting friendships without understanding this was his knack.
"He treasured his family. He loved us all so much.
"He always made people feel so special and we feel privileged that we knew him."
They added that he loved his girlfriend, Katy, "so much".
"We know that when he was kidnapped his foremost thoughts would have been with Katy," they said.
"He wanted to offer Katy the best life and future possible. We know he would still wish that for her."
McManus's sister, Justine, told the congregation: "Chris always made the most of everything. He saw the positives that others could not.
"Chris's interest in the wide world and his sense of adventure led him to some magnificent places and friends."
Together with brother Benet, she concluded: "We are the people we are today because of you."
Officiating the service, Father Phil Sumner said: "It is a terrible occasion yet one on which the family feel touched that the church is full of people concerned. People concerned as family, as friends, as a town."
He said it had been "a pleasure" to have got to know Mr McManus's family in the last few weeks and see some of the qualities in them that had been spoken of Chris.
He revealed how the family would all meet up on the 12th of each month - following his capture on May 12 last year - and talk to each other and lend support.
The priest continued: "The family told me as well there was a Muslim cleric who tried to intervene for Chris and was killed for having the audacity to do so.
"Chris was so thankful for the relationship he had with the Nigerian people whatever their background, except in his capture.
"He was blessed with so many relationships in his life.
"He felt so so lucky in the relationships and love he had in that he was able to reach out to others because of it."
The bid to rescue the men was apparently brought forward because the kidnappers - believed to be members of a jihadi group associated with al Qaida - became aware that the net was closing around them.
There were reports of a fierce firefight after a house in the north-western town of Sokoto was surrounded.
The men's bodies were found by the troops in a room at the rear of the compound. They are believed to have been shot by automatic gun fire from their captors.
McManus, a contract worker for the construction company B.Stabilini, was kidnapped by a "horde of gunmen" in May last year.
Raiders stormed his apartment in Birnin-Kebbi, in the north-west of the country, and captured him along with Mr Lamolinara.
The men were in the city to build a bank.
In December a Nigerian group calling itself Al Qaida in the land beyond the Sahil announced it had captured Mr McManus.
It released a hostage video to a news agency claiming it had kidnapped the Briton and showed a blindfolded and bearded man in an orange vest.
It was reported that the man pictured in the video called for the British Government to respond to the demands of the group, so they would spare his life. The Government said those demands were never coherent.
There have been a number of foreigners kidnapped while working in Nigeria in recent years.
Among those present at today's service was Mr McManus's boss at B.Stabilini.
Mourners were told of the quantity surveyor's love of his home football team, Oldham Athletic, and also listening to music and reading.
Among the hobbies listed in his order of service were "learning to play the guitar" and "not interested in cooking but loved to eat".
Hymns sang were Do not be afraid; I watch the Sunrise and Walk with me O my lord.
His girlfriend, Katy Bailey, gave a reading of David Harkins' 'Remember Me'.
Music played was 'Teardrop' by Massive Attack and 'Here Comes The Sun' by The Beatles.
People were asked to donate to Amnesty International - McManus's chosen charity - as they left the service.
A private burial followed.
Read the family' full statement below
Today is a sad and emotional day for our entire family as we say goodbye to Chris. But it is also a day for us to celebrate Chris’s life and remember our loving son, brother, boyfriend and true friend to many.
Chris was all about love and he lived his life to the full. He loved to travel and enjoyed experiencing new countries and meeting new people. We often talked about where he had been, one particular favourite was a family trip down the Nile.
Chris loved football, and in particular watching his beloved Oldham Athletic Football Club. He could be seen regularly on the terraces, the highlight being the trip to Wembley for the 1990 League Cup.
Chris went to Nigeria to gain professional experience and was welcomed like a family member by his employer and colleagues at B Stabilini & Co. He loved Nigeria and the people and made many friends in the country.
Our family have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from family and friends. We know how much everyone thought of our Chris. He had a positive and happy outlook on life and everyone who met and knew Chris will know that he had a heart of gold and always had time to help anyone in need.
We know that many people both here and in Nigeria worked hard to free Chris; we are grateful for their determination and the bravery of those who tried to rescue him. There have been far too many people involved over the past 10 months to thank individually; they know who they are and we thank them all most sincerely. Chris would have been proud to know that every effort was made to try and bring him home.
We are grateful to the media for continuing to respect our privacy at this difficult time.