Warm tributes have been paid to a “loveable and generous” ice cream seller who carried out his round for 20 years.

Pasquale Cerullo was a familiar face to many while on his ice cream rounds in Castle Point.

The management at suppliers Rossi Ice Cream sadly confirmed he has passed away.

Friends and customers of Pasquale have banded together to raise funds for his family.

Contributions have already topped £700.

In a tribute, the firm said: “The directors, management and staff at Rossi Ice Cream, in Southend, are deeply saddened to confirm the passing of Pasquale Cerullo.

“For 20 years, the loveable and generous Pasquale was an incredibly popular figure while on his ice cream rounds in Castle Point, taking the time to get to know every child and ‘big child’ who loved ice cream - he even remembered all of his canine customers by name like Marley in this beautiful photo.

“The kind community in Benfleet have organised a fundraiser for Pasquale’s family.”

Colin Gray, managing director of Rossi Ice Cream, added: "Having known Pasquale for about 15 years it is a very sad loss.

"He is missed by all of us.

"He always had time for a chat and very often had a story to tell or a reflection to share.

"He was always known for his friendliness and generosity, knowing all of the names of the kids, the parents and even the pets.

"Pasquale took the time to get to know them all.

"We all issue our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time."

Anyone who wishes to donate can click here.