Residents of Sunderland lined the streets as they paid tribute to Hays Travel founder John Hays, whose funeral took place today.

The funeral cortege passed through the city to mark the death of the managing director of the UK’s largest travel agency, who was given the freedom of the city in 2016 for his services to the community.

Well-wishers clapped as the procession made its way through the city, as some held orange and blue balloons in tribute to Hays, who died on Friday, November 13, aged 71.

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Yesterday, landmarks in Sunderland were illuminated orange and blue in honour of Hays, who founded the company that is headquartered in the city, employing thousands.

In a statement, Hays’ family said: “We are overwhelmed by the thousands of wonderful tributes, offers of support and messages full of love that we have had.

“They have truly helped us all through these last few days.”

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Photos: North News

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