A new father who was out celebrating the birth of his son died after he was injured trying to split up a large fight, a friend has said.
Benji Bolsenbroek, 23, was named locally as the man who died following a brawl in or near the Park Hotel in Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough.
The proud new father's partner Georgina McGuire was looking after their son Kianey while he went out with friends on Saturday night to wet the baby's head.
In the hours before he died he was proudly showing off a photo of the newborn.
A picture of bare-chested Mr Bolsenbroek cuddling his son is on his Facebook page.
It appeared there was a large fight between two groups and Mr Bolsenbroek was believed to have been injured when he acted as a peace-maker.
It was thought he made it back to his mother's house, where he reported feeling unwell and took a taxi to hospital. He died at around 1am yesterday at the James Cook University Hospital.
A friend writing on the Middlesbrough FC supporters internet forum Fly Me to the Moon said "scumbags" hit Mr Bolsenbroek several times while he was on the floor.
He said an argument had escalated into a "full scale brawl" involving up to 25 men and women, with "chairs, tables, bottles and glasses flying".
The friend added: "Benji was one of the most genuine, nicest people you could have ever met (hence him trying to break up any fighting) who had just became a dad a few days before.
"He was beaming with pride all night, showing off pictures to everybody of his newborn child.
On Wednesday Mr Bolsenbroek wrote on Facebook: "nice 1 for all the shouts means a lot could not ask for a better baby boy hes unreal man
"i cudnt be any happier
"its been hard these last 2 days to peel the smile off my face
"thank you georgina for such a beautiful boy!!!! love ya!
"right..... lets get dwn to buisness soaking the babys head saturday
"lets have it let me know if ya coming lads xx"
Ms McGuire wrote on Facebook about losing "the best dad ever".
She said: "I am numb, only the support of my true love Benji Bolsenbroek would get me through such a traumatic time but I am taking comfort in the fact he got to witness our perfect son enter the world.
"He was the best dad ever and had so much more to give but he lives on with all of us in Kianey.
"I'm truly overwhelmed by all of the support, just hoping deep down I will wake soon from the worst nightmare of my entire life. Sleep tight handsome, until we meet again. I love you more than words could ever say and I always always will xxx"
Detective Superintendent Rob Donaghy, who is leading the investigation, will give more details about the inquiry at a news conference at Cleveland Police headquarters this afternoon.
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