A TOUCHING tribute has been paid to much-loved poet Len Saunders - described as an "unsung hero" of the town. 

Len, 65, died in hospital in Sunday following an attack in Ward Street and news of his death has caused much sadness across town.

Tributes have poured in to Len, who was a popular figure around the town centre and the St Helens arts scene.

Harry Bradbury wrote to the Star to pay tribute to Len.

He wrote: "I and many others are truly shocked at the sudden and tragic death of Lenny Saunders resulting from an incident a week last Friday in Ward Street. 

"It should not go without comment what a great loss to this town Lenny is as he was a true son of St Helens and an unsung hero, a man who dedicated his life to charitable works often without reward.

"To me he should have been awarded a O.B.E. M.B.E. and a Knighthood rolled into one but I doubt that he would have accepted such was the self effacing character. He preferred to do his work under the radar and to leave the gongs to the elite to award to each other."

Harry added: "I know that Lenny was never happier than when he up to his waist in water cleaning out stretches of abandoned canals or clearing copses and woods of debris and rubbish trying to save these for future generations to enjoy but on top of all this he would with like minded friends drive vans and trucks across Europe full of desperately needed aid to help the impoverished of those regions in need of help.

"I know Lenny and his friends did these trips on many occasions maybe the smile on a child's face as they received a toy was enough but as the world had forsaken these people, Lenny and his friends had not.

"The above does not cover even half of this man's good works as I'm sure many will testify. But Lenny was born in a different age when people actually cared for each other unlike today where footballers and the like are squabbling over wanting a few million pounds more. They are not fit to stand in Lenny's shadow, who, through his selfless deeds, sets an example for us all to follow.

"I know in life he did not seek or get the recognition he so richly  deserved but if this is printed in death he surely will today. The town salutes your endeavours to humanity. R.I.P."