A charity fundraising page set up in John Hays’ honour had raised almost £16,000 by 8.30am on Monday, despite a request for donations to be capped at £5.

The GoFundMe page was set up by Hays Travel head of homeworking John Milburn on Saturday after the company and Hays’ family were inundated with requests.

The Hays Travel founder collapsed and died at his company’s head offices in Sunderland on Friday, prompting an outpouring of tributes.

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 Irene Hays had requested that donations should be no more than £5 and described the foundation as “one of John’s proudest achievements”.

To donate, click here.