FRIENDS of a newlywed who was found dead after going missing from home launched a campaign to raise cash for his funeral.
John Ankers, 28, disappeared from his home in Woodchurch ten days ago.
His body was discovered in woodland near Arrowe Park hospital three days later after a huge search by family, friends and police.
The Birkenhead shopworker had found out just days earlier that he was to lose his job at Blockbuster following the collapse of the DVD rental firm.
Wife Trina, who married John last September after eight years together, said he was depressed afterwards.
Friend Brian Granby has now launched a campaign – called Give John Ankers The Best Send-Off Possible – to help his family pay the cost of his funeral.
A Facebook page set up to aid the search for John has turned into a fundraiser and more than £4,300 has been raised so far.
Brian posted: “Thank you everyone for your help and support.
“It has been and always will be extremely appreciated.
“There is one last request we would like to ask you all.
“We are trying to raise funds to give John the best send-off imaginable and if everyone who can afford to gives £2 each we can make this possible.
“All collections go straight to Trina and will go towards the cost of the funeral.
“Any cash left over will be donated to a charity of Trina’s choice.
“We are all so grateful for everyone’s donations so far.
“It’s going to give him a really good send-off.”
Tributes for the ex-Formby high school pupil were still flooding in this week.
Gail Simpson said: “Was very sad to hear that John was not found safe with all the searches.
“I didn’t know John but shared and followed the story hoping for a happy ending.
“My condolences go out to his wife, family and friends.
“May God guide you and stay near you all at this terribly sad time. RIP John Ankers.”
Merseyside Police referred the death to Wirral coroner Christopher Johnson who was expected to open an inquest this week.
A date has not yet been set for John’s funeral.
John's wife Katrina said: “We would like to express our deepest gratitude for the combined efforts of Merseyside Police, family, friends and strangers alike who helped so generously with the search for John.
“That kindness will never be forgotten.
“We ask that people now respect our privacy and allow us time to grieve such a warm, loving and unforgettable man.”
Anyone who wants to donate to the fund should visit the website www.fundrazr.com/campaigns/bQMTb?psid=41974948cfe94cd88958db265879cf48.