FRIENDS have paid tribute to a popular bar manager with an 'infectious zest for life' after he died suddenly.

Liam Bridle died at Wythenshawe Hospital on June 17 after taking ill at the end of May.

The 37-year-old, who was born and raised in Middlewich, managed the Beer Emporium in Sandbach, and before that worked at Waitrose.

Friend and colleague Ian Hill-Smith, speaking on behalf of many who knew Liam, said: "Liam was a bright spot in countless lives.

"It’s easy to believe people he met just once recalling with huge positivity their chance encounter with this man who managed to somehow be six and a half feet tall and a ball of energy.

"Above all, he was a man of great generosity and kindness, with a wonderful sense of the absurd, and a zest for life that was infectious.

"Another rare combination of qualities in him was the ability to be at once a great listener, skilled conversationalist and formidable raconteur.

Northwich Guardian: Liam with his mumLiam with his mum (Image: Supplied)

"He’d listen with patience and consideration to whatever was on your mind, as happy to be a sympathetic ear as he was to offer advice and insight beyond his years.

"Liam would converse with enthusiasm and interest on any subject, always keen to learn new information or view new perspectives, as well as throw in whatever he was currently excited about from his voracious consumption of books and podcasts.

Northwich Guardian: Liam and wife Steph on their wedding dayLiam and wife Steph on their wedding day (Image: Supplied)

"And he’d hold court as well as anyone, recounting stories of grand misadventure or trivial fascination with equal gusto, all peppered with irreverent humour, and delivered with his typical relish and delight."

Before his sudden death, Liam had been looking forward to the birth of his first child in September with wife Steph.

Liam's family have set up a Just Giving page, which can be donated to here, in the hope of providing his unborn daughter some extra security.

Northwich Guardian: Liam was described as a 'ball of energy'Liam was described as a 'ball of energy' (Image: Supplied)

In great testament to Liam, the fundraising page eclipsed it's £4,000 target within 12 hours, and at the time of writing – just a week after its launch – more than £18,000 has been raised.

Ian added: "Liam loved music, with a particular fondness for math rock and the band Tool, and was a keen drummer.

"He also had a great love of comedy, and was an enthusiastic student of wordplay and pacing, occasionally taking to the stage himself.

Northwich Guardian: Liam with his dadLiam with his dad (Image: Supplied)

"At the Beer Emporium, Liam effortlessly combined the roles of cellarman, knowledgeable beer advisor, confidante and consummate host, managing the uncommon trifecta of boss, colleague and friend, and developing a steady group of regulars.

"His influence on the place is unquestionable, and evidenced in the often-heard customer question 'is Liam in?'."