Tributes have been paid to Rich Bannister, the commercial director of digital agency Degree 53, who has died at the age of 30 from cancer.

Bannister, who prided himself on never having had a day off sick, was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus five months ago and died at St Ann’s Hospice in Manchester on Sunday morning surrounded by his family. On Friday he married his girlfriend Gemma.

A memorial service is being held on Monday September 18 at St Ann’s Church, in St Ann’s Square, Manchester, at 11am. Everyone is welcome.

Degree 53, which now employs 75 people, broke the news of his death in a tweet.

Degree 53’s managing director Andrew Daniels led the tributes to Bannister, who he’d been friends with before recruiting him.

Speaking this morning, he told BusinessCloud: “I used to joke with Rich that he was one of those annoying people who was good at everything and everybody liked but it was true.

“Rich changed everything in sales and marketing. He was naturally confident in any surroundings. I saw him as recently as Friday and he was still cracking jokes.”

Bannister had previously worked for Manchester’s Tecmark and had also been a personal trainer.

Daniels said until he was diagnosed with cancer he’d never had a day off sick in his life and was very proud of his record.

“It’s a cliche that the good die young, but it really is true of him,” he said. “The office won’t be the same again.”

Among the tributes on Twitter, Paul Cawley said: “Really heartbreaking news. A genuinely lovely guy.”

Huddled News posted: “We had the pleasure of shooting a video with Rich once and he was extremely warm and friendly - a true gent.”