A charity fundraising page set up in honour of Hays Travel founder John Hays raised more than £10,500 despite a request for donations to be capped at a maximum of £5.

The GoFundMe page was set up on Saturday by Hays Travel head of homeworking John Milburn after being inundated with requests.

Money raised will go to the Hays Travel Foundation, which was set up by John and Irene Hays in 2015 and has since donated more than £950,000 to good causes.

The foundation said it works “with organisations that support people, who for one reason or another, need a bit of help to achieve their potential. We chose young people as our focus and the foundation works hard to create opportunities for youngsters to be the best that they can be”.

Milburn said: “We have been overwhelmed by the messages and condolences received for John Hays. There have been a number of requests to send flowers or send a donation to a charity.

“If anyone would like to make a donation in his memory, Irene would be grateful for a £5 donation (no more) to be made to the Hays Travel Foundation which was one of John’s proudest achievements.”

Hays died suddenly on Friday after collapsing at his agency’s head offices in Sunderland.

His death prompted an outpouring of grief and tributes from across the travel industry, the northeast business community, the media and Sunderland football club, where he was a previous vice-chairman.

To donate to the fundraising page in John Hays’ memory, click here.