TRIBUTES have been paid to a “caring and loving” father, husband, and businessman after an emotional send-off saw hundreds of residents line the streets.

Mitchell Nicolaou, of Clacton, tragically died in March at the age of just 54-years-old before being laid to rest following a ceremony at Weeley Crematorium.

After his untimely death bouquets of flowers and touching messages were left outside the Clean Inn, in Station Road, by friends, family members and customers.

Mitchell had owned the popular shop - which offered dry cleaning, shoe repairs and key cutting services – for the previous 20 years.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Prior to taking over, the seaside stalwart had worked in the store as a teenager under its previous owner but took over the reins following their retirement.

Mitchell’s wife Sophia, with whom he had two children, Rio, 21, and Athina, 17, has now paid tribute to her late husband.

She said: “We were together for 26 years and have been married for 14 years. Mitchell was a hardworking, caring, loving and proud man.

“He has been known in the town for a long, long time and he will be truly missed.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Given the impact Mitchell had on so many people in Clacton, on the day of his funeral last Thursday his procession travelled through the town centre and past his shop.

The event attracted hundreds of residents who all lined the streets to pay their respects in what became a momentous farewell.

Due to only a small amount of people being able to attend the funeral, a livestream was also set-up so anyone could watch the service.

Sophia, 48, added: “It was truly amazing seeing everyone that had come to his drive-by and show their respects and support.

“We knew he was a well-known member of the community but we never expected the amount of people who wanted to come and pay their respects.

“As a family, we are so thankful and would like to thank everyone who came out to support us and show their respects for Mitchell.”

An inquest into Mr Nicolaou’s death will be held at a later date.