An 88-year-old man who has died from the coronavirus caught the illness at a restaurant, his friends have said.

Darrell Blackley, from Middleton, Greater Manchester, died from COVID-19 on Friday at North Manchester General Hospital.

He had initially been rushed to hospital with sepsis after coming into contact with a skier who had returned from Italy at a restaurant.

He was initially tested negative for the coronavirus, but a week later received a positive result, "became extremely poorly and died".

A statement from his local church, St Michael's Church, which he attended for more than 50 years, confirmed the news today.

It read: "Today, St Michael's Church family in Middleton is deeply saddened at the death of Darrell Blackley (88) to the Corona Virus.

"He had been poorly and away from church for several weeks. Unfortunately, he came into contact briefly at a restaurant with a skier who had returned from Italy.

"He became poorly with his underlying condition shortly afterwards and was admitted to NMGH on Tuesday 3rd March with sepsis.

"Because of his contact with the returnee from Italy he was placed in quarantine but tested negative for the virus. On Tuesday 10th March, still in isolation, he tested positive, became extremely poorly and died late last night. (13th March).

"Darrell was a faithful man at St Michael's for over 50 years, he sang in the choir with a beautiful voice, described by so many as a gracious gentleman who is going to be sadly missed. RIP Darrell."

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